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A BUSY SUMMER FOR CONCERTS

<i> Pop Music Critic</i>

Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, co-stars of the recent Comic Relief benefit concert at the Universal Amphitheatre, return to the Amphitheatre in June to headline their own shows.

Williams and Crystal, whose appearances are set for June 6 and June 29-30, respectively, are among 50 acts on the amphitheater’s extended “summer” lineup, said Larry Vallon, vice president of entertainment for the amphitheater. Tickets for all the shows--including such acts as Jackson Browne and Liza Minnelli--go on sale via mail order this weekend.

In addition, the Greek Theatre will begin accepting mail orders this weekend for 20 shows, ranging from Johnny Mathis and Bob Hope to the Eurythmics and Los Lobos, said Susan Rosenbluth, general manager of the outdoor facility.

Coupled with the more than 100 concerts expected at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre and the Pacific Amphitheatre, the offerings make the Los Angeles/Orange County area the nation’s busiest summer concert locale. (See related story on Page 7.)

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“The appetite of the (Southern California) concert market is amazing,” said Jay Marciano, director of entertainment of the Universal Amphitheatre. “There will be points this summer where more than 150 nights of concert entertainment will be on sale (in Southern California) at the same time and they’ll virtually all pencil out at a profit.”

Andy Hewitt, director of special projects with the Nederlander organization, which operates the Greek and Pacific amphitheaters, agreed. “Without question, this is the nation’s biggest concert market.”

The 6,251-seat Universal Amphitheatre, which has been operating year-round since it added a dome in 1982, grossed more than $16 million with 163 shows during 1985, while the 6,187-seat Greek, which operates on a more traditional outdoor timetable, grossed nearly $8 million with 75 shows.

Besides Williams and Crystal, the Universal lineup includes Tangerine Dream, June 5; Peter Frampton, June 8; Chick Corea/Wayne Shorter, June 12; Jay Leno, June 13; Peter Allen, June 14-15; Roberto Carlos, June 20; Joe Jackson, June 26-27; Mike & the Mechanics, July 1; Roger Whittaker, July 3; All-Star Jazz Explosion ’86, July 6; Gladys Knight, July 11-12; America, July 27; Juice Newton, July 30; Charlie Daniels Band, Aug. 1; Dave Brubeck/Dizzy Gillespie/Stan Getz, Aug. 2; the Classic New York Doo Wop Show III, Aug. 3.

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Joan Baez, Aug. 6; Chuck Mangione, Aug. 8; Steven Wright, Aug. 9; Merle Haggard/the Judds, Aug. 10-11; Jackson Browne, Aug. 13-15; Billy Ocean, Aug. 16-17; Lee Ritenour/David Grusin/ Stanley Jordan, Aug. 19; the Moody Blues, Aug. 28-29; the Temptations and the Four Tops, Aug. 30-31.

Air Supply, Sept. 5-6; George Benson, Sept. 12-14; Culture Club, Sept. 15-18; Peter, Paul and Mary, Sept. 19-20; the Oak Ridge Boys/Ricky Skaggs, Sept. 23-24; the Pointer Sisters, Sept. 25-28; the Everly Brothers, Oct. 1-2; Fabian’s Good Time Rock and Roll, Vol. IV, Oct. 3; Vicente Fernandez, Oct. 4; Liza Minnelli, Oct. 24-26; Jeffrey Osborne, Oct. 30-Nov. 1. Glenn Frey, Nov. 7-8; Dick Shawn, Nov. 9; David Sanborn, Nov. 13; British Invasion featuring Gerry and the Pacemakers, others, Nov. 16; B. B. King, Nov. 21; Enrico Macias, Nov. 22; Philip Glass Ensemble, Nov. 28; Andy Williams, Dec. 22-23, and Al Jarreau, Dec. 26-28. Chaka Khan, Kenny G., Ashford & Simpson have also been signed, but dates have not been set.

The Greek season begins Tuesday with Simple Minds, followed on May 17 by the Bangles. Tickets for both of these shows are already on sale, said Hal Lazareff, director of West Coast booking operations for the Nederlander Organization.

Asked about reports of some Neil Diamond “homecoming” shows at the Greek this August, Rosenbluth said only, “Nothing’s been signed.”

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Going on sale by mail this weekend: Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger, May 23; a Windham Hill Night featuring Shadowfax, others, June 21; Antonio Carlos Jobim, June 23; Johnny Mathis/Dionne Warwick, June 25-28.

Bob Hope, July 5; Shirley Bassey, July 17-18; Jimmy Buffett, July 29-30; Charles Aznavour, July 31; Eurythmics, Aug. 4-5; John Kay & Steppenwolf plus the Guess Who, Aug. 8; the Monkees/Gary Puckett, others, Sept. 5-6; Los Lobos, Sept. 13; Paul Anka, Sept. 18; Mr. Mister, Oct. 4; Raphael, Oct. 9-10; Michael W. Smith, Oct. 11; Sandi Patti, Oct. 17. Stevie Ray Vaughn and Starship have also been booked for the Greek, but dates haven’t been confirmed.

The Greek is introducing a new mail order feature this year called Club Four. By ordering tickets to any four or more shows, customers get priority seating for those shows plus a chance for priority seating for additional shows announced this season. The program is similar to the “A-TOP” subscription system that is used at the Universal Amphitheatre.


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