Ben Vereen to entertain at North Coast Repertory Theatre’s 2015 Spotlight Gala

Legendary actor and song and dance man Ben Vereen will headline April 26 at North Coast Repertory Theatre’s Spotlight Gala at the Del Mar Country Club.

Vereen won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award as Best Actor in a Musical for his Broadway performance in “Pippin.” Other Broadway roles have included the Wizard of Oz in “Wicked,” “Fosse,” “I’m Not Rappaport,” “Hair,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Grind,” “Jelly’s Last Jam” and more. On television, he is remembered for his performance as Chicken George in Alex Haley’s “Roots” mini-series in the 1970s and Louis Armstrong in “Louis Armstrong — Chicago Style.” Other movie and TV roles include “All That Jazz,” “Idlewild,” “Silk Stalkings” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

The Spotlight Gala is Solana Beach-based North Coast Rep’s major annual fundraiser. The gala will feature a cocktail reception, a dinner, silent auction and live auctions, a magician, a guitarist and other entertainment. The event is chaired by Jeri and Richard Rovsek, assisted by co-chairs Jean and David Laing and Marina and Rafael Pastor.

Guests will be greeted with a signature drink, The Market Fizz, created for the event by The Market Restaurant in Del Mar.

The silent auction treasures offered are:

  • lunch with Judith Ivey (actress and director)
  • lunch with Dick Enberg (the voice of the Padres)
  • framed photograph of Jimi Hendrix
  • week for two at Virginian Lodge in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
  • $500 Home Furnishing Package from WeRHome

Live auction items include:

  • Napa wine tasting for six with transportation via private jet, private tastings at top wineries, and then the comforts of Villagio Inn and Spa, touted by Town and Country Magazine as “a pleasure seeker’s heaven.”
  • Four-night stay for two in Telluride, Colo., with breakfasts, dinner and wine included.
  • Dinner with NC Rep Artistic Director David Ellenstein and his wife, Denise, at The Market Restaurant and Bar in Del Mar. The evening includes a chef’s pairing with wine tasting created by Chef Carl Schroeder, who will serve a four-course tasting menu, and Sommelier Brian Donegan, who will pair each course with a carefully selected wine or beer.

The Honorary Chair of the Spotlight Gala is Ken Baca. The Honorary Committee includes Dr. Jeffrey and Carol Chang, Gigi Cramer, Dr. Cynthia and Martin Davis, Berit and Tom Durler, Lee and Frank Goldberg, Lola and Walter Green, Jerry and Jill Hall, Leonard Hirsch, Sharon Rosen Leib and Richard Leib, Jo Ann Kilty, Sheila and Jeffrey Lipinsky, Prof. Marianne McDonald, Ph.D., Dr. Allen and Judy Moffson, Walter Oliver, Dori and Jeff Patterson, Supervisor Dave Roberts, The Honorable H. Lee and Marjorie Sarokin, Sharon and Jerome Stein, Hannah Step, Jeanette Stevens, Molli and Arthur Wagner, Nancy Weiss, Dr. Charles and Judith Wheatley, Dr. Steve and Lynne Wheeler, and Susan Winbigler.
Jeri and Richard Rovsek, the Laings and the Pastors serve on the working committee with Leslie Carter, Renee Nay Carter, Connie Coe, Marion Dodson, Neville Engelbrecht, Holly Smith Jones, Bill Kerlin, Julie Sarno, Sharon Stein, Marilyn Tedesco and Leslie Zwail.

Tickets begin at $300 per person and are available at the patron level for $500 and $1,000 per person. Tables of 10 are available. Contact Julie Sarno at or at 858-481-2155, ext. 224.

North Coast Rep’s next show is Paul Slade Smith’s “Unnecessary Farce,” opening in previews Wednesday, April 15.