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Country music star Sara Evans draws 1,000 to Maryland Theatre

April 28, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- At The Maryland Theatre on Sunday, one of Sara Evans' youngest fans waited eagerly for the chance to see the country singer up close.

"I'm hoping Sara Evans is gonna sing all the songs on the CD we have and some that we don't have," said 6-year-old Will Pakenas, whose favorite Sara Evans songs are "A Real Fine Place to Start" and "Suds in the Bucket."

Will and his mother, Betsy Pakenas, were two of the more than 1,000 people who gathered at The Maryland Theatre Sunday to see Evans, who released a Greatest Hits CD in October and is currently on tour.

Betsy Pakenas said she wasn't always a country music fan, but started listening to it when Will was a few years old because it was more kid-friendly than other types of music. Now mother and son are hooked on country, and when they learned Evans was coming to Hagerstown, they jumped at the chance to get tickets.

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"He'll never see her perform this up-close again," Betsy said, adding that she thought Evans normally played slightly larger venues. "I don't understand how it's not sold out," she said.

Other fans speculated that the reason tickets didn't go faster was Evans' 2006 appearance on season three of the reality TV show "Dancing With the Stars," in which she withdrew from the competition in the midst of a very public divorce.

Ann Gould of Purcellville Va., said she thought Evans' popularity was diminished by the publicity she received after leaving the show.

"Before, she'd be playing a stadium instead," Gould said.

Still, Gould was happy for the opportunity to see the singer in a smaller venue, close to home.

"She can sing," Gould said. "I like her new song, 'As If.'"

Evans' next stop in the mid-Atlantic region will be a concert at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg, Va., on Aug. 13, according to her Web site.

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