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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Jackson brother to attend tribute gala for King of Pop - The Saratogian Entertainment: Serving the Saratoga Springs, N.Y. region (Saratogian.com)

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Michele Riggi has kept details of the annual National Museum of Dance gala under wraps. It is almost as mysterious as its honoree, the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.


This week, Riggi, who is chairing the event, leaked a few “surprises” for the Aug. 14 gala and the induction ceremony at the museum Aug. 15.


She confirmed that Marlon Jackson, one of Michael’s brothers, will attend to accept the honor on behalf of the late pop star. Brother Tito is a maybe.


An A-list of guests and performers promise an elegant event, though most details have been kept secret for the museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Even the d├ęcor is a mystery. “I want it to be a surprise,” Riggi said.


Among the celebrity guests saluting Jackson’s amazing career are The Lombard twins from Buenos Aries, longtime friends of the King of Pop, will dance to some of Michael’s hit songs; and Ricardo Sopin and Iraida Volodina from “Dancing with the Stars” will perform a montage of his songs. Thirty-two local kids will dance a “Billie Jean” tribute, Riggi said.


John James, who played Jeff Colby on the popular TV series “Dynasty,” will be master of ceremonies, and Riggi’s son, Christopher, who is in the vamp movie spoof, “Vampire Sucks,” will charm “Twilight” fans. Best-selling author Laura Morton, who wrote the Elizabeth Smart story, is on the A-list of distinguished guests.


There are still about 30 tickets available for this “most exciting gala of the summer,” according to Riggi. Tickets are $300 per person. Ticketholders will also be entitled to attend the induction ceremonies at 5 p.m. Aug. 15. Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson, longtime dance museum benefactors, are honorary co-chairs.


This year’s fundraiser will not feature an auction. “In lieu of gifts, we are asking for monetary donations to keep the museum doors open and to continue work on its beautiful exhibits,” Riggi said.


The huge dance floor will invite guests to get up and get down with the T.S. Ensemble playing Jackson dance favorites.


Michael Panza is handling decorations and the Glen Sanders Mansion has planned a sumptuous dinner.


“This gala is a big party,” Riggi said. “Everyone is welcome.”


For tickets to this black-tie affair, call 583-4935.

JILL WING

The Saratogian
http://shar.es/0m0lG

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