Summer lineup at the Clayton Opera House

Comedian Rob Schneider kicks off the summer season at the Clayton Opera House on June 20. Photo courtesy Neil Visel Photography.

CLAYTON — When officials at the Thousand Islands Performing Arts Fund were planning the summer 2013 season for the Clayton Opera House, some good-natured debate broke out.

“Each year, the shows seem to be getting bigger with more national names,” said TIPAF Executive Director Joseph M. Gleason. “There was some debate whether we wanted to continue that or stick with smaller shows and more of them.”

A compromise was struck.

“It was, ‘Yes, we want more entertainment, but let’s continue to do the big names too,’” said Mr. Gleason. “So we have more big names this year than ever before.”

The 11-act series opens June 20 and runs through Aug. 20. Shows range from Broadway legend Ben Vereen to the Clayton Community Band, which is the opera house’s resident ensemble.

“It’s an ambitious season,” Mr. Gleason said. “It’s about a 25 percent increase in budget over last year.”

The lineup:

June 20: Comedian Rob Schneider

Mr. Schneider, a veteran of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” has starred in dozens of movies including “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “The Hot Chick” and “Grownups.”

Tickets are $55, $45 and $40.

July 3: Joe Wiegand as Teddy Roosevelt

Mr. Wiegand has entertained audiences nationwide with his tribute to President Theodore Roosevelt. He shares stories of adventure, humor and inspiration ranging from bear hunts to adventures about the Panama Canal.

Tickets are $25.

July 11: The Kingston Trio

This pioneering folk group emerged from San Francisco’s North Beach club scene in 1957. It was one of the first groups to bring folk music into the mainstream. Hits include “Tom Dooley,” “Lemon Tree” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” The trio has kept its original name but with different members over the years. The current lineup is Bill Zorn, George Grove and Rick Dougherty.

Tickets are $55, $45 and $40.

July 17: TBA

An act has been tentatively scheduled but performers wish to announce the Clayton appearance when the band releases its overall tour schedule.

July 20: Ben Vereen

Mr. Vereen, a Tony award winner and Broadway legend, will bring his “Steppin’ Out” tour to the Clayton Opera House. The show travels through Mr. Vereen’s stage and television career while also paying tribute to the work of Frank Sinatra and his longtime friend and mentor, Sammy Davis Jr.

Tickets are $65, $55 and $50.

July 27: Dr. Delos M. Cosgrove

Watertown native Dr. Delos M. “Toby” Cosgrove III is a world-renowned expert in the field of heart-valve repair. He also is president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic. His July 27 talk will benefit the opera house. Its title: “A Health Care System for the 21st Century: What Walmart, Zumba and the Performing Arts Have in Common.”

Tickets are $25.

Aug. 14: Christopher O’Riley

As host of National Public Radio’s “From the Top,” Mr. O’Riley is known for his eloquent musings on music and popular culture. Joining him will be one of last year’s winners of the 1000 Islands International Piano Competition. This will be Mr. O’Riley’s second visit to the north country in two years. He appeared at SUNY Potsdam last April.

Tickets are $50, $40 and $35.

Aug. 15: Magician/illusionist Mike Super

Mr. Super was voted America’s “Favorite Mystifier” in 2007 on NBC’s “Phenomenon.” He also appeared at the opera house two years ago. For the past two years, he has been named entertainer of the year by the International Magicians Society.

Tickets are $50, $40 and $35.

Aug. 22: Jefferson Starship

This band has undergone several changes since it was formed in the 1970s, evolving from its predecessor, Jefferson Airplane. Its current lineup includes band founders Paul Kantner and David Freiberg. Hits include “Miracles,” “Count on Me,” “Jane,” “Layin’ It on the Line” and “Be My Lady.”

Tickets are $60, $50 and $45.

Aug. 28: Satisfaction A Rolling Stones tribute

Satisfaction is America’s top tribute band to the Rolling Stones, offering faithful renditions of the “bad boys of the British invasion.”

Tickets are $45, $34 and $30.

Clayton Community Band

The resident ensemble of the opera house will perform at 7 p.m. May 7, July 2, Aug. 20, Oct. 8 and Dec. 3. Under the direction of Gloria Hvizdos Musser, the band was formed in the summer of 2004 in memory of her late husband, Willard I. Musser. All of its members and conductor are volunteers. Its concerts raise money for various causes.

-Chris Brock, Watertown Daily Times staff writer