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Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Drifters To Headline Algonquin Arts Theatre Gala

May 1, 2017

Algonquin Arts Theatre to Honor Janice Blanton, Larson Ford, The Jay & Linda Grunin Foundation and Stephen Strouse at June 8 Event

Gala Logo:
Algonquin Arts Theatre Board of Trustees members Patricia Thecker of Wall, Janice Blanton of Wall and Mona Kirk of Manasquan attended the theatre's Gala Kickoff event on April 20. Blanton will be honored as the Humanitarian Award recipient at this year's gala. Photo by Andrea Tarr.

MANASQUAN, N.J. (May 1, 2017) - They say the neon lights are bright, On Broadway. Algonquin Arts Theatre welcomes Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Drifters and their endless supply of mega-hits from the 1950s and 1960s to headline our annual gala.

The gala's theme this year, On Broadway, uses the title from The Drifter's 1963 hit to highlight the completion of the Algonquin's fifth season producing Broadway-style plays and musicals.

Dara Brown, an anchor from NBC News, will emcee the gala and also serves as a Co-Chair of the event with Alison McGonigal of August & Scout Cafè and Bakery and Diane Onto of Manasquan Bank.

Three ticket levels offer various levels of access, from a Gala Performance Ticket that provides an open cocktail party & a seat for the show through a VIP All-Access experience that includes cocktails, dinner at Remington's or Blend on Main, and an exclusive post-show reception with the headliners.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 732-528-9211, online at and in person at the Algonquin Box Office at 173 Main Street in Manasquan from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and on 12-4 p.m. on Saturdays.

The On Broadway Gala Starring the Drifters recognizes Humanitarian Award honoree Janice Blanton, Community Service Award honorees Larson Ford and the Jay & Linda Grunin Foundation, and Arts Education Award honoree Stephen Strouse.

"I am very excited that this gala will pay tribute to four fantastic honorees," said Brett Colby, the theatre's interim director of development who recently returned to the theatre after six years away. "Janice Blanton has been a devoted board member for many years, contributing countless hours and dollars to sustain the theatre's presence in the community.

"Stephen Strouse receives the Arts Education Award not only for his work in the education system, but also for the expertise he brings to many Algonquin productions. Finally, the theatre simply could not survive without the support of philanthropic families like the Grunin and Larson families. The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation and Larson Ford are extremely deserving of this years' Community Service Award."

The gala is the single biggest fundraising day of the year for Algonquin Arts Theatre, and the event includes a Silent Auction and much more. All funds raised support our mission to provide cultural enhancement and arts education to all audiences at the Jersey Shore.

For information including an event schedule, ticket levels and how to sponsor the event, please visit or call 732-528-4336.

The "Rodgers and Hammerstein" lead sponsors of this year's gala are Eliot Arlo Colon for NJ Assembly, The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation and PNC Wealth Management. Holman Frenia Alison, P.C., Manasquan Bank and OceanFirst Bank are "Andrew Lloyd Webber" sponsors, while Peter A. Flihan & Linda P. Hejduk, The Folk Agency, Mona & John Kirk, Jerry & Diane Levitz, David & Gayle Donnelly of NaturaLawn, New Jersey Natural Gas, NJ CAR, Rhonda Maraziti of Withum, Dale & Peter Wegener, Roosevelt Investments, TD Bank and Frank J. Valente-Allstate NJ Insurance Company are "Lin-Manuel Miranda" sponsors.

The evening's live appeal is supported by Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley and Janice Blanton, while Broadway Ray has contributed coveted "Hamilton" tickets which will be part of a New York City package auctioned off as in the Live Auction.

Note: Since this release, The George & Ruth Harms Foundation (Rodgers and Hammerstein), Algonquin Board of Trustees (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and Joe Higgins, Ameriprise (Lin-Manuel Miranda) have joined as sponsors. Underwriters for the gala will include Robert & Linda Daleo, the Daniell Family Foundation, Mary Higgins Clark, NJ CAR, R.J. Davis & Associates and Roosevelt Investments.

About Algonquin Arts Theatre
Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501c(3) non-profit center for performing arts, providing cultural enrichment and arts education for residents and visitors of Central New Jersey and the Jersey Shore through high quality performances and programs in theatre, music, dance and film.

Located in Manasquan, N.J., AAT is an integral part of the Shore Region, offering broad access to arts experiences across multiple disciplines. Deeply committed to education, AAT serves students of all ages not only through art and music instruction, but also through the unique communal conversation that exists between audience member and performer. The theatre provides a platform for local and regional performers to showcase their work and offers audiences the opportunity to engage very directly and personally in the arts, fostering greater participation and providing an engaging means for exploring personal and societal issues through the world of the stage.

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. Funding is also provided by Manasquan Bank, Broadway Ray, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Freed Foundation, the PNC Foundation, the Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, the OceanFirst Foundation, the Investors Bank Foundation, the Provident Bank Foundation and the generosity of our patrons.

The theatre was voted New Jersey's favorite small performing arts center south of the Raritan River in 2015 and 2016.