Ken Wesler said he was miserable Friday afternoon. But his smile said otherwise.

The Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center CEO was in the middle of emailing and texting agents to secure acts for the 2012-13 season. In the middle of talking about the lineup, his phone buzzed with a message that Smokey Robinson was locked in for a Nov. 19 concert. It was a difficult get, since Robinson's agent is also the agent for Donna Summer, who had passed away Thursday.

But, like most big acts, Wesler had been in touch with Robinson's agent for weeks. With a deadline looming, Wesler had to try to confirm as many shows as possible for the York venue. The Strand's brochures are about to hit the mail. Its new website went live today.

More acts will be added

Even after the brochure is sent, Wesler will continue to pursue and book acts. But he will operate with a different formula. Some acts need the brochure to sell. Likewise, the brochure needs certain acts to get people's attention. Other acts are big enough to sell well even if they're late additions.

The Strand recently sent out a mailer advertising the upcoming season to members. A few minutes later, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Ron White confirmed.

Travel schedules and time zones slow communication, but Wesler said he had to be ready - with the Strand's pricing, layout and other specs - at a moment's notice. Hesitate for even a few minutes and a big act, whose routing is usually done in chunks, will book elsewhere.

What's coming and what's going

The Strand's schedule includes two Food Network stars - Robert Irvine and Ina Garten.

"It's a brand-new thing for me as a promoter," Wesler said.

Irvine will do a live cooking demonstration. Garten's show will include a conversation with The Left Bank chef David Albright.

Other additions to the schedule are some new age acts, including pianist Peter Kater.

Two things, Wesler said, didn't work last year - jazz and kid's shows.

Smokey Robinson will perform in November
Smokey Robinson will perform in November (SUBMITTED)
Both surprised him.

Wesler booked some big names in the jazz world last season, including Ambrose Akinmusire. But they didn't have any name recognition with the local audience.

Instead of trying to book children's shows, Wesler is trying to focus on family entertainment that will appeal to parents and kids.

Since Capitol Cinema has a small but loyal audience, Wesler said the theater introduced a rewards program. With the Clips Crew, moviegoers can get a punch card and, after screening a certain number of films, they can earn free refreshments and free movie tickets.

Wesler's hope is that, eventually, the Strand-Capitol will have enough name recognition to give people faith in the quality of shows, even if they are unfamiliar. Last year, 12,000 new households became Strand customers.

Gauging interest

"I use everyone as a sounding board," Wesler said.

Since many outside factors affect each show, Wesler relies on his gut and audience feedback. Many folks requested The Midtown Men, which features stars of Broadway's "Jersey Boys," including 1987 Central York High School graduate J. Robert Spencer.

"I watch people's eye," Wesler said of when he suggests an act. Facial expressions are sometimes more valuable than verbal reactions.

In other cases, a show just fits into the schedule. Wesler said he had been trying to book "Spamalot" for about two years. It finally fit in February 2013.

That, of course, is the fun part of the job, Wesler said. There's nothing better than sharing news about a big get with his team and with the public.

Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center 2012-13 season

Tickets are on sale now for Strand members. They go on sale to the public 10 a.m. June 14. The Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, 50 N. George St., York. For details and tickets, visit the Strand box office, call 717-846-1111 or visit www.mystrandcapitol.org.

Editors Note

This schedule was changed based upon changes announced since it was originally released.

8 p.m. Oct. 16 - Ben Sollee at the Capitol Theatre; $16

7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 - The Doobie Brothers; $65, $73, $78, pre-show dinner option available for an additional $39

7:15 p.m. Oct. 20 - Dru Hill; $46, $56, $66

2 p.m. Oct. 21 - The Artie Shaw Orchestra; $19, $29, $32

7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 - The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi; $30, $34, $40

7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 - Asia: 30th Anniversary Tour; $35, $41, $47

8 p.m. Nov. 1 - The Lemonheads at the Capitol Theatre; $21

7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 - Melissa Etheridge; $61, $81, $106

8 p.m. Nov. 9 - Lost in the Trees at the Capitol Theatre; $14

7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 - Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience; $39, $44, $49

7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 - "Deer Camp: The Musical!"; $20, $27, $29

7:30 p.m. Nov. 19 - Smokey Robinson; $46, $61, $68

8 p.m. Nov. 23 - Hoots & Hellmouth CapLive concert at the Capitol Theatre; $14

7:30 p.m. Nov. 24 - Paula Poundstone; $31, $36, $41

7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 - The National Circus of China; $29, $32, $38, pre-show dinner option available for an additional $39

7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 - Christmas With The Celts; $29, $32, $38

7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 - Robert Irvine: Live; $42, $47, $52

7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 - Hall & Oates; Show is sold out

7 p.m. Dec. 8 - Greater York Dance Presents: "The Nutcracker"; Adults: $25, 38, $45; Children: $18, $30, $35

2 p.m. Dec. 9 - Greater York Dance Presents: "The Nutcracker"; Adults: $25, 38, $45; Children: $18, $30, $35

7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 - Jim Brickman: On A Winter's Night; $34, $43, $48

7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 - Kenny G; $42, $51, $58

7:30 p.m. Dec. 15 - River City Brass with York County Senior Honors Choir; $16, $33, $38

7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 - Tim Warfield's All Star Jazzy Christmas; $20, $31, $35

7:30 p.m. Jan. 17, 2013 - The Midtown Men; $49, $54, $59

7:30 p.m. Jan. 18, 2013 - The Black Watch & Band of the Scots Guard; $29, $35, $41

8 p.m. Feb. 2, 2013 - Seldom Scene CapLive concert in Capitol Theatre; $23

7:30 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013 - China National Symphony Orchestra; $36, $46, $56

7:30 p.m. Feb. 7, 2013 - "Monty Python's Spamalot"; $48, $64, $72, pre-show dinner option available for an additional $39

7:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 2013 - An Evening with John Waters; $31, $36, $41

7:30 p.m. Feb. 9, 2013 - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.; $38, $43, $48, pre-show dinner option available for an additional $39

7:30 p.m. Feb. 15, 2013 - The Blind Boys of Alabama; $29, $34, $39

7:30 p.m. Feb. 20, 2013 - An Evening with Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa; $53, $58, $63

7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 - Michael Bolton; $51, $61, $67

7:30 p.m. March 1, 2013 - Gaelic Storm; $30, $35, $40

7:30 p.m. March 3, 2013 - Sweet Honey In The Rock; $32, $37, $42

7:30 p.m. March 10, 2013 - "Hair"; $69, $58, $43

7 and 10 p.m. March 14, 2013 - Ron White: Moral Compass Tour; $47, $55, $61

7:30 p.m. March 20 - George Thorogood & The Destroyers; $42, $47, $52

7:30 p.m. March 23, 2013 - Peter Kater & R. Carlos Nakai; $38

7:30 p.m. April 10, 2013 - Russian National Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty; $39, $43, $49

7 p.m. April 19 - John Edward Seminar; $69, $89 2 p.m. May 11, 2013 - Glenn Miller Orchestra; $19, $29, $32

Other stories

Read about the York Symphony Orchestra's 2012-13 schedule and other YSO chorus and youth ensemble shows at www.yorksymphony.org.

Get details about the Capitol Cinema series at mystrandcapitol.org.