Derby Dinner Playhouse's 1990-91 subscription series, featuring the most diverse fare in the theaters 16-year history, includes some of the biggest hits from the 1920s through the 1980s.

The season begins June 19 with Jerome Kern's ever popular "Show Boat" and concludes April 16 with the opening of "Steel Magnolias," one of the most popular comedies of the late 1980s.

In between will be such powerhouse musicals as "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Dream Girls," the dazzling Broadway hit based upon the meteoric career of The Supremes and other Motown singing groups.

"Run For Your Wife," the long-running English farce, and "The Nerd," one of the most popular American comedies of the 1980s, round out the season.

The broad range of shows selected for the 1990-91 season is based upon Derby Dinner's success in offering a wider range of "more daring shows during recent seasons," according to producer Bekki Jo Schneider.

"The recent success of such diverse shows as 'Evita,' 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' 'A Chorus Line' and 'Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?' proved rather conclusively that we have a broad-based metropolitan audience," Ms. Schneider said.

"We appeal to the wide range of theatrical tastes you expect to find in a city of this size. Our subscription audience has grown steadily for five straight years partly because we offer such variety," Ms. Schneider continued.

Ms. Schneider also said that steadily growing attendance has prompted the Clarksville, Ind. dinner theater to lengthen the run of its shows.

"Starting with this new subscription series, our straight plays will run five or six weeks and our musicals will run either seven or eight weeks.

"We ran 'Black Patent Leather Shoes' six weeks and then, after 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' brought it back for an additional six weeks. That makes it the longest any show has ever run in any theater in the Louisville area in the same year," she said.

"We set a new attendance record during 1990 among both our regular audiences and in the student matinees which attracted more than 20,000 young people from schools in Kentucky and southern Indiana," according to Ms. Schneider. The student matinees will continue during the coming season.

Season ticket prices range from $35 to $77. Subscribers get to "design their own season" by picking any five of the six shows. Special rates are also available for anyone who wishes to subscribe to the entire six-show package.

Subscribers also get free admission to "Coffee Chats," which allows them to attend one rehearsal of each show and meet the cast and director. They are also invited to special "Season Ticket Parties" where they get to see selected scenes from upcoming productions.

Derby Dinner Playhouse also has inaugurated a more simplified price structure. All evening performances are now $21. The Sunday matinee brunch is $16 and the Wednesday dessert matinee is $11.

Derby Dinner Playhouse is at 525 Marriott Drive, just off the Stansifer exit from I-65 in Clarksville, Ind., two miles from downtown Louisville.

Special prices are available for groups by calling (812) 288-2623.