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Local News

Rialto Square Theatre books Loretta Lynn, working on more big acts

Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn

JOLIET – Loretta Lynn is coming to the Rialto Square Theatre, which is bringing in big acts again after a year in which it stopped booking shows for nearly six months.

The Rialto announced Friday that Lynn will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8. Tickets will go on sale March 3.

Lynn is a legendary performer whose songs, including "Coal Miner's Daughter," are among the classics in country music. She is in both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame. She received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

In 1972, Lynn was the first woman named the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year.

Lynn's performance is the second big act announced at the Rialto in two weeks.

The theater announced Feb. 17 that it had booked Olivia Newton-John.

Tickets for the May 11 Newton-John performance first went on sale Friday.

Rialto Interim Executive Director Timothy Berry said at noon that ticket sales for the first two hours were "very strong."

"I think I can say with confidence at noon today that sales [for Newton-John] were stronger than Ron White was," Berry said.

Ticket sales for comedian Ron White went so well that the Rialto added a second show for his appearance Feb. 17. The first show sold out at the 1,926-seat theater. Another 700 tickets were sold for the second show.

White, Newton-John and Lynn have all been booked by VenuWorks, which arrived in September to manage the theater at a time when the Rialto had stopped booking shows as it looked for a professional firm to take over operations.

VenuWorks is working on its second short-term contract at the Rialto. But the Rialto board last week approved a five-year contract with the company.

Other top performers brought in by VenuWorks have included Kacey Musgraves, a rising country music star, and Ronnie Milsap, a classic country musician.

Berry said VenuWorks is working on other shows yet to be announced, adding that Joliet provides a "rich and diverse marketplace" that can support big acts.

Ticket prices for Loretta Lynn's performance will be $49, $59 and $79, although the Rialto announcement notes that additional fees may apply.

Tickets will be available online at Ticketmaster.com and by phone at 800-745-3000.

More information is available at www.rialtosquare.com.

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