Theatergoers are in for a treat this week as two show business legends perform in separate shows, both at the historic Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, as part of the Marshall Artists Series.
Jay Leno, often characterized as “the hardest working man in show business” is coming to Huntington, bringing a little bit of late night and his “everyman” style with him tomorrow night, Oct. 16. He’ll be followed on Friday, Oct. 17, by music icon Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in concert. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
Providing mass appeal through his personable style and work ethic, Leno is currently performing more than 100 shows a year. Staying busy, even in retirement, he has also gained an international following for his most recent venture, “Jay Leno’s Garage,” where he scours the globe for unique automobiles and people.
“Jay Leno’s Garage” received an Emmy Award and Leno himself has been the recipient of numerous other awards and honors. Within two years of taking over as host in of “The Tonight Show” in 1992, Leno became the ratings leader of late night, continuing as a ratings leader of his time slot for 50 consecutive quarters.
Leno’s talents extended to writing, public speaking, voice-over artistry, and philanthropy. His children’s book, “If Roast Beef Could Fly,” immediately became a New York Times Bestseller upon its release in 2004. His follow-up book, “How to be the Funniest Kid in Your Class,” and his other book, “Leading with My Chin,” were both big publishing successes as well.
His philanthropic efforts include performances for those devastated by the 9/11 tragedy, the tsunami in Thailand, hurricanes in the gulf and the severe economic downturn in Detroit. He also leads the annual Love Ride in California to benefit numerous humanitarian organizations. He and his wife, Mavis, travel the globe helping those less fortunate. They have recently assisted the Gender Apartheid campaign and Feminist Majority to free Afghan women of Taliban rule, an effort for which Mavis and the Feminist Majority were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Frankie Valli rose to fame as the lead singer of the Four Seasons and he and his band are the real-life subjects of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical and recent movie, Jersey Boys. Now, with the musical in its seventh year on Broadway, and with five other casts performing Jersey Boys nightly from Las Vegas to London, the real Frankie Valli is packing in audiences around the world.
Valli and the Four Seasons have had 71 chart-topping hits and have toured almost continuously since 1962. His songs have appeared in such movies as The Deer Hunter, Dirty Dancing, Mrs. Doubtfire, Conspiracy Theory and Grease.
For ticket information contact the Artists Series Box Office at ext. 6-6656 or visit their box office, which is located in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m.