BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN
In the past, shows were announced one by one. Recent demand encouraged the owners to post a yearlong schedule for the first time.
For the first time since it opened nearly two years ago, the Palace Grand in Spring Hill is announcing a full schedule of special shows for the 2003-2004 season.
In the past, shows were announced on a one-by-one basis as they were booked. Now, owners Nick and Sal Sessa are lining up shows through mid-March and selling tickets months in advance.
"The demand is there," Nick Sessa said. "People want to make plans in advance, so this lets them do that."
Three of the shows mark major holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year's. Four others feature regional and national celebrities, including two shows by Julius LaRosa in March. One show is a mystery dinner show, which Sessa said is popular with his patrons.
"I am out scouting for some more great shows, ones that haven't been in this area," Sessa said.
The season - so far - includes:
Oct. 12: Absolutely Fabulous, a variety revue. Doors open at 2 p.m., show at 3 p.m. Show only, $15; light menu available at extra cost.
Oct. 31: Halloween Masquerade Ball, featuring The Crests with Tommy Mara. Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m. A costume contest with prizes precedes the show. Dinner, show and dance, $35.95.
Nov. 14: Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show: Kim and Scott Tie the Knot, a comedy/mystery. Doors open at 6 p.m. Dinner and show, $36.95.
Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving): Three to Tango, starring Matthew McGee, Sara DelBeato and Stan Collins in a musical variety show. Doors open 11:30 a.m., show at 1:30 p.m. Dinner and show, $35.95. Dec. 31: Peter Columbo's Magical Musical Memories Show. Doors open 7 p.m., dinner at 8:15 p.m., show follows dinner. Party favors, champagne cocktail at midnight, followed by a continental breakfast. Dinner, show, dancing, extras: $59.95.
Jan. 25: The Ink Spots (My Prayer, To Each His Own, I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire) tribute group. Performances at 2 and 8 p.m. Doors open two hours before each show for buffet and cash bar. Dinner and show, $35.95.
Feb. 15: Jack Morgan and The Russ Morgan Orchestra play "Music in the Morgan Manner" (Cruising Down the River, You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You). Performances are at 1:30 and 8 p.m. Doors open two hours earlier for buffet and cash bar. Dinner and show, $36.95.
March 18 and 19: Julius LaRosa (Eh, Cumpari; Domani). Doors open 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Dinner and show $39.95.
All prices are plus tax and tip. For tickets, call 863-7949 in west Pasco; toll-free elsewhere 1-888-655-7469.