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Chautauqua Founder To Play Summer Show

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The founder of the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua in northern Wisconsin who resigned after being convicted of assault will perform an Aug. 12 show.

Warren Nelson founded the Big Top in 1985. The 900-seat tent near Bayfield is home to lectures, concerts, plays and musicals.

Nelson was convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault and battery in 2009.

The Big Top’s marketing director, Jamey Penney-Ritter, admitted to apprehension about how Nelson will be received. But Penney-Ritter says the timing seemed right because this year marks the summertime concert series’ 25th anniversary. Public radio broadcasts the shows nationwide.

The 63-year-old Nelson tells the Duluth News Tribune alcohol abuse led to his crimes and he’s stopped drinking and has never been happier.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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