(photo credit: Courtesy)
When Seth and Sherri Mandell looked for a charity event that would support the organization they founded and memorialize their son, they never imagined the success that Comedy for Koby would achieve over the past 12 years.
In attracting some of America’s top comedic talent and continuing the growth of The Koby Mandell Foundation, the tour has become one of Israel’s top recurring English-langauge entertainment events. As its name indicates, Comedy for Koby was launched in memory of Koby Mandell, the 13-year-old boy who was murdered in a terrorist attack 18 years ago this month together with his friend Yosef Ishran.
“Comedy for Koby has become one of the major events on the calendar for English-speaking Israelis,” said Seth. “It both supports the children of Camp Koby and keeps our son’s memory alive.”
Now preparing to begin its 23rd installment on May 27th in Ra’anana, the tour will be heading up North with the addition of a Haifa show on May 29th. The upcoming tour will include three long-time veterans of the North American stand-up scene. Bobby Collins, Steve Mittleman and Maryellen Hooper. Avi Liberman, whose comedy resume similarly reflects a career of remarkable accomplishments and who founded the Tour, will round out the lineup.
Bobby Collins has been performing on stage and screen for decades and has opened for some of the great names in American entertainment, including stars like Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton and Tony Bennett. He’s been described as harnessing the styles of comedy greats like Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin and welcomes the chance to perform for Israeli audiences.
Steve Mittleman is an accomplished comedian who has also been on stage for many years, and appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, among other shows. Proudly described as “squeaky clean,” Mittleman integrates his Jewish heritage in his act and is always waiting for that perfect chance to improvise before new audiences.
Maryellen Hooper is returning to Israel following a successful appearance on the winter tour in 2011. A wife and mother, Hooper’s humor focuses on the absurdities of domestic life, which makes her a favorite of audiences of all ages.
Avi Liberman says he had a lot of fun putting together this lineup and is sure of a great show. “These are all acts that have been perfecting their talent for decades, and are really looking forward to coming to Israel,” he says. “The beauty of this tour is that it gives our comics the chance to perform in front of audiences that really appreciate top humor, and allows them to shine in an all-new environment. Plus, my experience is that comedians get some of their best material from Israeli life, so I can only imagine what this group will come up with.”
Tickets range from NIS 130-200 and can be purchased online at comedyforkoby.com.
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