Algonquin Arts

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Contact David Applegate
(732) 528-3735 or [email protected]

Broadway Stars to Shine at Algonquin Arts’ Benefit Honoring Father Alphonse Stephenson

May 26, 2009

Where: The Mill at Spring Lake Heights
When: Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 6 pm
Ticket Price: $125
For Tickets: 732-528-9211

Manasquan, NJ - Three Broadway luminaries – Don Pippin, Lee Roy Reams and Kevin Spirtas – will help emcee Jack Ford and local celebrities to toast, roast and entertain at the Algonquin Arts benefit honoring Father Alphonse Stephenson at The Mill in Spring Lake Heights on Thursday evening, June 25, 2009. The three stars have been friends of Father Alphonse since the days when the Roman Catholic priest was conducting an orchestra he founded at The Actors Chapel near Broadway and when Father Stephenson was the conductor for 3,000 performances of A Chorus Line. The gala starts at 6 pm with a silent auction and open bar, then a grand dinner served at 7:15 followed by the star-studded entertainment.

Don Pippin is one of Broadway’s greatest musical talents - having been honored with a Tony, an Emmy, the Drama Desk Award and a gold record award for the original cast album of A Chorus Line, for which he served as Musical Director, conductor and vocal arranger. Among numerous other successes, Mr. Pippin was the Musical Director for the original versions of such major musicals as Applause, La Cage aux Folles, Mame and Oliver. For fourteen years earlier in his career, he served as Musical Director for New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall. And among additional achievements, Mr. Pippin arranged musical performances for Bill Clinton’s inauguration and conducts frequently with the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Lee Roy Reams is a star on the stage and behind the scenes. Among his shining moments were nominations for both the 1980 Tony and Drama Desk Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance in the original production of 42nd Street. After making his Broadway debut in Sweet Charity, Mr. Reams went on to roles in some of Broadway’s best-loved shows, including Hello, Dolly!, La Cage aux Folles, Beauty & The Beast and The Producers. In 1989, he starred in a Paper Mill Playhouse production of Show Boat, which was televised on Great Performances by PBS. Among other concert, stage and cabaret appearances, Mr. Reams currently is serving as the resident director of the Theatre at Sea program sponsored by the Theatre Guild.

Kevin Spirtas is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Craig Wesley on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. TV audiences also have seen him on such hit shows as Friends, The Young and The Restless, Married… with Children, Quantum Leap and most recently in the role of Jonas Chamberlin on One Life To Live. But it was on Broadway where he met Father Alphonse, when Kevin was starring in A Chorus Line, remembered forever for his acrobatic rendition of the song, “I Can Do That!” And he was Hugh Jackman’s standby in the musical, The Boys from Oz. Mr. Spirtas also has been on the big screen in films including Apt Pupil, Daredevil and Friday The 13th VII.

Emcee Jack Ford, was a Monmouth County prosecutor before more than two decades as a TV news personality. The recipient of Emmy and Peabody Awards, Jack Ford recently also became an author with the release of his first book, a mystery thriller, The Osiris Alliance.

Father Alphonse Stephenson is the founder and conductor of The Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea, the 45-member ensemble that performs three times each year at the Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasqauan. The Orchestra also appears annually at the Festival of The Atlantic on the beach in Point Pleasant.

Tickets to Algonquin Arts’ annual benefit honoring Father Alphonse Stephenson are $125, tax-deductible to the extent of IRS law, and must be reserved in advance. For more information or to reserve your tickets, please contact the box office at 732-528-9211 or [email protected]. The hours for the Box Office, located at 173 Main Street in downtown Manasquan, are Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Honorary Chairs of this event are Tamar Tolchin and Diane Turton.

Algonquin Arts was founded in 1992 as a nonprofit organization to provide cultural enrichment and educational enhancement of the highest quality for the residents of New Jersey’s central region. Programming of Algonquin Arts is made possible as a result of the continued philanthropic support of private citizens and organizations such as New Jersey State Council on the Arts, OceanFirst Foundation, New Jersey Cultural Trust, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, PNC Foundation, Manasquan Savings Bank, Woman’s Club of Brielle, Bank of America, Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation, Investors Savings Bank Charitable Fund, Verizon Foundation, Janice & Jules Plangere III, as well as many generous individuals and local businesses.