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Multi-platinum country music quartet Lonestar to headline Under the Stars Summer Arts Festival
05-9-14

The Starlight concert with Lonestar is July 19.
The Starlight concert with Lonestar is July 19.
Jazz in July is July 14.
Jazz in July is July 14.

Lonestar, the award-winning, multi-platinum country music quartet with crossover smash hits like “Amazed,” “I’m Already There,’’ and “Come Cryin’ to Me,” will headline the 2014 Misericordia University Under the Stars Summer Arts Festival on Saturday, July 19 in support of their 11th studio album, “Life As We Know It.’’

Come celebrate the spirit of America during the annual Jazz in July performance with the musical, “All Hands on Deck!,’’ on Monday, July 14. Both performances will begin at 8 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Amphitheater on campus.
 
Tickets for the Starlight Concert featuring Lonestar and Jazz in July go on sale Monday, May 19. Tickets for Lonestar are $380 for a festival table that seats six; $35 for amphitheater seating, and $20 for lawn seating. “All Hands on Deck!” tickets are $180 for a festival table that seats six; $20 for amphitheater seating, and $10 for lawn seats. Please call the Misericordia University Box Office at (570) 674-6719 to purchase tickets.

 
Lonestar is engaged in a more than 90-city tour in support of its first album with original lead singer Richie McDonald since the group produced “Mountains’’ in 2006. With McDonald and his harmonious voice, other founding members Michael Britt (lead guitar, backing vocals), Keech Rainwater (drums) and Dean Sams (keyboards) will perform their classic hits as well as new songs such as “With My Eyes Open’’ and “Just the Rain.’’
 
Overall, Lonestar has amassed sales in excess of 10 million albums since they released their self-titled debut album in 1995. Known for merging their country roots with strong melodies and rich vocals, the band has recorded 10 No. 1 country hits, nine Top 10 pop hits, including “No News,” “Come Cryin’ to Me,’’ and their crossover smash “Amazed,” which was also No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – the first record since 1983’s “Islands in the Stream’’ by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton to accomplish that feat. “Amazed’’ lasted eight weeks atop the country charts and earned the band the Academy of Country Music Single of the Year Award and Song of the Year Award in 1999. In 2001, they received the Country Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year Award.  
 
The band originally formed in Nashville, Tenn., in 1992. They played more than 500 shows before landing a recording contract. By the time Lonestar released its first album, the band already had an enthusiastic fan base. Their first single, “Tequila Talkin,’ went Top 10 on the country charts and “No News’’ became Lonestar’s first No. 1 country single.
 
In the years that followed, Lonestar continued to ascend. Their third album, “Lonely Grill” in 1999, was certified multi-platinum in the United States and Canada. In addition to “Amazed,’’ the album also produced three more No. 1 country hits: “Smile,” “Tell Her,” and “What About Now.” The 2001 release “I’m Already There’’ topped the country charts as did their 2003 retrospective, “From There to Here: The Greatest Hits,’’ which produced the No. 1 single, “My Front Porch Looking In.’’
 
The annual Jazz in July event features “All Hands on Deck!,” a new 1940’s musical that was conceived by Jody Madaras and Quincy Marr. Madaras, who wrote the play, musical arrangements, music and lyrics, also directs, choreographs and acts in the production that features more than 40 classic Big Band-era songs.
 
The storyline is based on Bob Hope’s 1942 USO tour that was produced for the troops in the field during World War II. The two-act revue is performed by four charismatic singers, dancers and comedians, and a nine-piece orchestra. It features the songs, dancing and frivolity that America has loved since the 1940s.
 
From 1941-45, the nation was embroiled in the historic war. Hollywood’s brightest stars, directors and screenwriters responded by sending the troops real-life stars for entertainment. In Act One, the war-bond drive arrives at hometown USA. Hosted by Ted Crosley, John Handley, Daisy Maxwell and Betty Blake, the plan goes well until an urgent telegram arrives informing the group that bad weather has forced a hasty departure and an earlier-than-expected flight back to San Francisco, Calif., to perform a live broadcast on Armed Forces Radio. Crosley and his performers decide to stay in hometown USA and perform their live radio show before a local audience in the community theater. 
 
Act Two becomes a live radio show, complete with on-air antics, classic commercials, timeless songs and hilarious, impromptu skits. The radio show comes full circle with a big patriotic finish that pays tribute to both active duty and veteran members of the armed forces.
 
Songs performed include: “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” “I’m in the Mood for Love,’’ “Pennsylvania Polka,” “I’ll Never Smile Again,” “Any Bonds Today?,” “Don’t Fence Me In,” “America the Beautiful,” “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” and much more. In all, the musical features more than 40 Big Band hits in original arrangements that are packaged in a fun-filled, true-to-life reproduction similar to the USO shows Bob Hope and Jack Benny would have taken to the U.S. troops.
 
For more information about the Misericordia University Under the Stars Summer Arts Festival, please call (570) 674-6719 or log on to www.misericordia.edu/theartsandmore. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 34 degree programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats. 

 
Captions:
 
The award-winning, multi-platinum country music quartet Lonestar will headline the Misericordia University Under the Stars Summer Arts Festival on Saturday, July 19 at 8 p.m. Lonestar band members, from left, Dean Sams, Keech Rainwater, Richie McDonald and Michael Britt, will perform for the Starlight Concert.
 
The Misericordia University Under the Stars Summer Arts Festival is presenting the musical, ‘All Hands on Deck!’ for the Jazz in July performance on Monday, July 14 at 8 p.m. in the Wells Fargo Amphitheater. Performing in the show, from left, are Daisy Maxwell, Ted Crosley, Betty Blake and John Handley.