AP NEWS

Foellinger hosting Speedwagon, Leno

March 21, 2018 GMT

Classic rock makes up much of the 18-act lineup for this year’s Foellinger Theatre Concert Series.

Announced Tuesday, the lineup includes Kiss rocker Gene Simmons, the Beach Boys, the Little River Band, Ted Nugent and tribute bands for Tom Petty and Elton John.

Comedian and former late-night host Jay Leno is scheduled to perform Aug. 4.

“I continue to be impressed with the quality and variety of performers that the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department provides for our community and visitors each year at the Foellinger Theatre,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement.

The series kicks off May 4 with Simmons. Power balladeers REO Speedwagon will close out the series Sept. 26.

Summer shows at the theater also include free concerts starting May 20 by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Symphony and Youth Concert Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Area Community Band, the Old Crown Brass Band and the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir.

Six free movies : “Despicable Me,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Despicable Me 3,” “Minions,” “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory” : will be shown on Thursdays beginning July 5 and ending Aug. 9.

Parks Department Director Al Moll, who will retire next month, said the concert series began in 2008. At least three more shows will soon be announced, he said.

“We’ve created something we’re proud of, something that really adds to the community,” Moll said.

Henry, speaking at a news conference Tuesday morning at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, credited Moll for introducing the series. He said it’s brought “life and excitement” to the city.

“It’s well worth the experience,” Henry said. “We’ve never had a bad one.”

mleblanc@jg.net