The Upstage Theater concert series will bring the town of Genoa alive on Saturday afternoons and evenings starting Aug. 3.
Historical Mormon Station State Park will host the music from a 50-foot-wide stage at the back of the green plateau. About six feet out from the stage, 1,700 chairs will be available, as will bars and sponsor tables that will surround the perimeter of the field.
The eight-week concert series, in its first year in Genoa, features a guitar and sax concert with Richard Elliott, Marc Antoine, Warren Hill, and Jeff Golub, as well as an evening of Ladies of Song, to include Rita Coolidge, Lucy Kaplansky, Janis Ian and Beth Nielsen Chapman. Michael McDonald, former Doobie Brothers singer, also will appear.
In a press conference Thursday at the park, about 40 people, many sponsors and members of the press, listened as senior partner John Procaccini of the Upstage Center Theatre described plans for the concert series, entitled Sierra Starlight Amphitheatre.
The first set is Delbert McClinton, Teresa James and the Crazy Texas Gypsies, playing Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.
Procaccini, who has been in the entertainment industry since 1977 has worked with Sammy Hagar, the band Boston, MTV and VH1. He said the vision for the concert series came easily, but eight months of work have brought it together.
He thanked Douglas County, Sheriff Ron Pierini and Lynne Frost for the park service for "taking our vision and trusting it."
"What we are bringing here really is an arts and entertainment event for Carson Valley," said Doug Reynolds, a partner with Procaccini, as is John Pappenfort. "Not only will all the acts be world class, but people will tell you this place is on par with Red Rocks in Colorado as far as an open place to stage events. It's going to bring a lot of benefits to Carson Valley."
With 1,700 chairs, three levels of ticket pricing will be available. Procaccini wants to keep costs down and so, in lieu of using a ticket-distribution service, tickets can be bought at local venues.
Also, each concert will focus an opening local act.
"We want to support local artists," said Procaccini, who lives in Minden. "We want to give people the opportunity to open for people who are already there."
Ticket gates will be along the fences and sponsors of the series will have tables just inside. Procaccini is also working to have one charity at each concert that could set up an area to hold raffles and solicit donations. He has been in touch with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Family Support Council.
The concerts start at either 3 p.m. or 7 p.m. On days when they start at 3 p.m., food will be available. For the evening concerts, there will be six full service bars, offering wines, soft drinks and snacks.
The stage is a fold-up, and state-of-the-art sound and lights will be used for the concerts.
"The ambience of this place is going to be totally different," Reynolds said. "This is going to be a magical place when the sun goes down and, as the name Sierra Starlight Amphithater suggests, the stars come out."
Mimi Bertrand, who was at the conference handing out the music pamphlets, is excited to have a concert series so close to home.
"It's such a great thing for this valley," said Bertrand. "We're so fortunate to have this caliber of entertainment."
Sharon Human, director of motel operations at Pinion Plaza and Carson Station, said the motel will be hosting most of the entertainers.
"I think it's really going to be great," she said of the series. "I think it's going to be great for the town of Genoa.
For more information, call the ticket office at 800-216-0891 or 775-882-8900, or stop at the ticket office at 900 Mallory Way in Carson City. Tickets are also available at www.sierrastarlight.net, and at the Carson Valley Inn. Season tickets are available as well.