By Samantha Joseph
STUART - Theater goers at the Lyric will be name-dropping next season.
The performers list for the historic theater in downtown Stuart reads like a who's who of show business, with some of the biggest names in popular entertainment slated.
Acts include media personality and talk show host Regis Philbin, actor Burt Reynolds, comedians Howie Mandel and Paula Poundstone, R&B vocal group Boyz II Men and Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding.
Also among the headliners for the 50-event 2012-13 season are Paraguayan harpist Marcos Vega and The Duprees, a doo-wop group whose hit "You Belong to Me" brought them international fame more than 50 years ago.
"We try and bring a very big cross section of shows for different tastes," said John Loesser, the theater's executive director.
"There are well-known classic artists, like (flutist) Sir James Galway and brand-new artists who are picks of the year, like Esperanza Spalding. We do some rock 'n roll, some nostalgia, some children's shows. We try to have something for everyone."
Ticket prices are also varied, with ranges typically from $20 to $85 for the season that runs from October to April.
The 500-seat venue has operated on the Treasure Coast since 1926, and has emerged as a hub for the arts, drawing several major acts.
Ms. Spalding, for instance, is a jazz singer who won the Grammy for best new artist of 2011. She plays guitar and several other instruments, but is best known for her creativity on the bass. Her critically acclaimed performances include a unique interpretation of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed."
Mr. Reynolds, an actor and director, as well as a Palm Beach County native, has had a more than five-decade-long career that includes starring in movies such as "Smokey and the Bandit."
Boyz II Men also distinguished themselves early in their career, gaining international celebrity in the 1990s. Their love songs and a cappella harmonies crossed over to the top of the pop charts. Among their biggest hits are "End of the Road," "The Color of Love," "A Song for Mama," "On Bended Knee," "I Make Love to You" and "Water Runs Dry."
Ticket sale for all shows are currently to theater members, but will become available to the public on Sept. 4.
The Lyric Theater is located at 59 S.W. Flagler Ave. For more information, call (772) 286-7827.