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Mary Higgins Clark To Be Honored At Algonquin Arts Theatre Gala On June 6

May 16, 2013

Author Joins Wendell Minor and "Broadway Ray" Soehngen As Honorees at Black & White Gala in Manasquan

The Black & White Gala: An Evening with The Manhattan Transfer

Thursday, June 6 (Pre-Show Events Begin at 5 p.m.; Theatre Doors Open at 8 p.m.)

Algonquin Arts Theatre
173 Main Street, Manasquan, N.J.

All Access VIP: $175
Premium Dinner: $150
Preferred: $75
Performance: $50

Call 732-528-9211 or visit

Mary Higgins Clark
Wendell Minor
Mary Higgins Clark (Credit Bernard Vidal) Wendell Minor (Courtesy of Wendell Minor)

Mary Higgins Clark (Credit Bernard Vidal):
Wendell Minor (Courtesy of Wendell Minor):

MANASQUAN, N.J. (May 9, 2013) - Bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark, nationally-recognized illustrator Wendell Minor and long time Algonquin Arts Theatre supporter "Broadway Ray" Soehngen will be honored on June 6 at "The Black & White Gala: An Evening With The Manhattan Transfer."

The theatre honors Clark and Minor for their contributions to Arts Education, specifically supporting a project for the Algonquin to turn one of their books, "The Magical Christmas Horse," into a stage musical as part of the theatre's Education Series.

"I am looking forward so very much to the June 6 Gala, after being charmed and delighted by the musical comedy made of our book, The Magical Christmas Horse," Clark said. "The songs, the dialog, the acting, the sets were absolutely enchanting and the talented exhibited by everyone in the show was nothing short of extraordinary.

"I can't think of a more worthwhile community project that deserves totally committed support. Warmest wishes to one and all and see you on the 6th!"

Soehngen, who after retiring from pharmaceutical sales for GE began running bus trips from the Jersey Shore to Broadway, is passionate patron of the arts and has supported the Algonquin in many ways, including chairing the theatre's two previous galas.

The gala serves as the theatre's major annual fundraiser and supports the programming throughout the remainder of the year. The evening's festivities will be capped by a performance by multi-Grammy Award-winners The Manhattan Transfer.

Tickets for the event range from $50 to $175 with the top levels including dinner at either Remington's or Firefly � An American Bistro. To order or for more information call 732-528-9211 or visit The gala will include raffles, a silent auction, live auctions and much more!

Clark's books are world-wide best sellers and in the U.S. alone she's sold more than 100 million copies with 32 best-sellers. Minor is an nationally recognized illustrator who has collaborated with Clark on several projects including "The Magical Christmas Horse."

The story was adapted for stage and to include music by Cynthia Mitchell Payne, who will direct The Wizard of Oz at the Algonquin this August, and by William Whitefield, the executive director of Algonquin Arts Theatre.

Published in 2011 by Simon and Schuster, "The Magical Christmas Horse" is set on a Connecticut farm near Minor's home that has been operated since 1746, and an antique wooden horse in the collection of the nearby Gunn Memorial Museum inspired the story. The two boys share their names with Clark's grandsons, to whom she dedicated the book.

Clark and Whitefield met 18 months ago during a book signing at the Algonquin hosted by BookTowne, which neighbors the Algonquin Box Office. After attending the reading, Whitefield contacted Clark inspired to create a musical which BookTowne sponsoring the premier performances. Both Clark and Minor will be attending the performance.

Soehngen is the founder and president of "Broadway Ray," a Monmouth and Ocean County Premier Charter Bus Tour Company to Broadway and is a dedicated support of the local arts community, including Algonquin Arts Theatre. He served as the co-chair of the Algonquin Arts Theatre Gala in 2011 and 2012.

The 2013 Gala co-chairs are Randy Kornberg, Carol Doherty and Michael Sinneck.

Park Avenue sponsors include Maria Zito-Kaufman & Simon Kaufman, Esq.; and PNC Wealth Management. Soho sponsors include Robert & Linda Daleo; Holman, Frenia & Allison, P.C.; Manasquan Savings Bank; Roosevelt Investments; Savvy Style Salon; and UBS. The Village sponsors include Brian's Auto Center; Mona & John Kirk; David & Gayle Donnelly of NaturaLawn of America; Novy & Associates; John Newman & Kevin Sarte of Bouquets to Remember; and Mike & Eileen Sinneck. Ruth & George Harms are the dinner underwriters while Aculabs; Jan Blanton & "Broadway Ray" Soehngen; and Spirit of '76 Wines & Liquors are also underwriting portions of the event.

About Algonquin Arts Theatre:
Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with the mission to provide cultural enhancement and arts education to all audiences at the Jersey Shore through high-quality performances and programs in theatre, music, film and dance. The end goal is to foster appreciation of the arts and promote lifelong learning, particularly among underserved audiences including the economically disadvantaged, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; by funds from the Paul F. Zito, M.D. Educational Foundation, by Simon Kaufman, Esq. & Maria Zito-Kaufman and remembering Marialana and her love for children and the arts.