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March 19, 2012
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Comedian Rich Little To Headline Algonquin Arts Theatre Annual Gala
A Red, White & Blue Gala on May 17 Will Honor Arts Educator Harry Eichhorn and Humanitarians Maria Zito-Kaufman and Simon Kaufman
An Evening With Rich Little: A Red, White & Blue Gala
Comedian Rich Little with a special performance by the Atlantic Wind Ensemble and the Festival Chorus
Date & Time:
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Algonquin Arts Theatre
173 Main Street, Manasquan, N.J., 08736
732-528-9211 or algonquinarts.org/gala
Caption: Comedian Rich Little, "The Man of 1,000 Voices," will appear at Algonquin Arts Theatre's annual gala on May 17, 2012. (Courtesy of Rich Little)
MANASQUAN, NJ – From John F. Kennedy to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to both George Bushes, Rich Little has an impression of each of the United States Presidents since 1961.
He will be packing his bag of voices heard regularly on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and bringing them to the Algonquin stage on May 17 for "An Evening With Rich Little: A Red, White & Blue Gala."
"I am so excited about coming to the gala in May at the Algonquin Arts Theatre," Little said in a video message. "I know that you have wonderful programming there and this event helps support those programs."
"Get your tickets early, tell your friends to come and spread the word because, after all, the news of my arrival is not just going to trickle down," he deadpanned.
The gala also provides an opportunity for Algonquin Arts Theatre to recognize Education Honoree Harry Eichhorn and Humanitarian Honorees Maria Zito-Kaufman and Simon Kaufman for their contributions to the arts at the Jersey Shore.
"We're certainly excited about how this year's gala is taking shape; from Rich Little to our deserving honorees," said Algonquin Arts Theatre Executive Director William Whitefield. "Obviously, anytime you have a headliner like Rich you know that the crowd will not be disappointed. We’re looking forward to making this one of the most successful galas ever for the theatre."
The annual gala – this year with a patriotic theme – serves as the key fundraiser for the theatre and three levels of tickets are available. For $150, the Presidential ticket includes dinner at either Firefly … An American Bistro or Remington’s as well as a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m. The Vice Presidential ticket includes a pre-show cocktail hour at 7 p.m. and costs $75. A limited number of tickets for only the 8:30 p.m. performance are available for $50.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 732-528-9211 or online at algonquinarts.org/gala.
Eichhorn, the Manasquan High School band director for 36 years until his retirement in 1989, also founded the Ocean Grove Summer Band and the Atlantic Wind Ensemble – the latter of which will be joined on stage by the Festival Chorus for a special patriotic performance as part of the 2012 gala.
Zito-Kaufman and Kaufman are long-time supporters of Algonquin Arts Theatre and its program both personally and through the Paul F. Zito, MD Educational Foundation, which provides scholarship and funding for the arts and education. Zito-Kaufman serves as president of that foundation and serves as a member of the Algonquin Arts Theatre Board of Directors.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available and the deadline to reserve advertisement space in the event's program is April 15. The event will include a silent auction and a live auction for select items, including a pair of tickets to "Book of Mormon" and a ride on the Horizon blimp. Businesses or individuals interested sponsorship, advertising or contributing to the auctions can visit algonquinarts.org/gala or call 732-528-4336 for more information.
Infamous for his skewing of political figures, Little has charmed, amused and annoyed politicians from here to his native Canada. Coincidentally, 2012 will be the first presidential election in which Little can cast a vote for the politicians that he lampoons having gained U.S. citizenship in 2010.
A master mimic of more than 200 voices, Little’s repertoire ranges from Alan Ladd to Edith Bunker and Jack Nicholson to Kermit the Frog. Some of his favorite current impressions are of stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Clint Eastwood.
"An impression is what you think a person sounds like. It could be an exaggeration or a cartoon. It's your impression," Little said. "I think of an impersonation as more of an exact copy. Knowing the person personally is not important; it's knowing the speech patterns and mannerisms [in order] to imitate the person the way the public sees him."
Whitefield contracted Little for the gala, having shared the stage with the famous impersonator in a play, "Rich Little Starring in The Presidents," that was created and co-written by Little. The play toured the country in 2003 and a recording of the play is available on DVD, with Whitefield playing several rolls including Billy Carter and Dan Quayle.
A limited number of table sponsorships are still available and include eight Presidential Level tickets as well as access to a post-show reception that will be attended by Little.
Current sponsors and much more information is listed at algonquinarts.org/gala.
Algonquin Arts Theatre was founded in 1992 as a nonprofit organization that uses the arts to provide cultural enrichment and educational enhancement of the highest quality for Central New Jersey residents.