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Nealon’s comedy coming to Cafe Cabaret, introducing mother at Grande Dames Tea

By Staff | Mar 9, 2011

Kevin Nealon will perform his stand-up comedy on March 29 at an event benefitting HOPE Clubhouse. That same day, he will introduce his mother, Kathleen, who is being honored at the Grande Dames Tea.

“Saturday Night Live” alumni and “Weeds” star Kevin Nealon will perform his stand-up comedy in a charity show on Tuesday, March 29 benefitting HOPE Clubhouse in Lee County.

Tickets are now on sale at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, located at 1380 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers, for the 8:30 p.m. show in the Cafe Cabaret. A dessert reception precedes the show at 8 p.m.

Priced at $50 per person, the admission fee includes two drinks and dessert, due to the generous sponsorship of the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and its co-owners, Will and Andrea Prather, who also is a member of the HOPE Clubhouse Board of Directors.

“We are so thankful to Kevin Nealon for agreeing to lend his considerable talent to our cause, said Debra Webb, executive director of Hope Clubhouse. “Because of the generosity of Kevin and our sponsors, every dime raised will go directly toward helping those living with mental illness in our community.

Nealon will be in town to introduce his mother, Kathleen Nealon, as one of the three Grande Dames honored by the PACE Center for Girls – Lee County. Nealon’s parents live on Captiva Island.

The Grande Dames Tea will take place on March 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, located at 1380 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers.

A world traveler, former Pentagon staffer and mother of five, Kathleen Nealon moved 12 times around the globe, worked as a Barbizon model and acted on “Saturday Night Live” twice.

“Everybody in our family is funny – we love to just have fun when we all get together,” said Kathleen Nealon, who advises young girls today to never give up. “The way your life turns out is largely up to you. There are endless possibilities, but you have to find them and follow through. And don’t forget to have fun and laugh along the way!

The Grande Dames Tea also honors Myra Janco Daniels of Naples and Mimi Straub of Estero. Tickets for the tea are $50 per person and may be obtained by calling 239-278-4422. Table sponsorships are also available.

“We are delighted by the response from our invited guests as well as those who have heard of the tea and wish to attend,” said Grande Dames Tea Chair Dena Geraghty, who also is vice-chair of the PACE Lee Board of Directors and a trustee of PACE, Inc.

The theme of the Grande Dames Tea is “The Wisdom of Age – Honoring the Female Spirit.

“This is the perfect opportunity for our community and the PACE girls to honor these women, and to learn of the challenges and success of their life experiences,” Geraghty added.

The agenda for the tea will include interaction between the PACE girls and the three Grande Dames, in a question and answer format, that Geraghty said “is sure to be thought-provoking and poignant.

Kevin Nealon is one of the most recognizable cast members ever on “Saturday Night Live,” having been part of the ensemble for nine years from 1986 to 1995. During that time, he created some of the show’s most memorable characters, including “The Subliminal Man” and “Hanz and Franz.” His recurring role as an anchor on “Weekend Update” made the sketch a show staple.

Nealon currently stars in Showtime’s critically acclaimed series, “Weeds,” which recently was picked up for a seventh season. The show was honored at the 2006, 2007 and 2009 Golden Globes where it was nominated for “Best Television Series in a Musical or Comedy.

Last year, Nealon hosted TBS’s “Funniest Commercials of the Year” for the fifth time. The special highlights the most outrageous commercials from around the world and has been a continued success for the network.

“Laughter truly is the best medicine, especially for those living with mental illness,” Webb said. “That’s why this comedy night with Kevin Nealon is the perfect opportunity to showcase our work.

A model of rehabilitation for people living with severe mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and clinical depression, HOPE Clubhouse opened its doors in March 2010 and has 32 members. HOPE Clubhouse, the only one of its kind in Southwest Florida, fills a significant gap in the mental health system by offering opportunities for meaningful work, education, friendships and access to housing in a supportive, caring and dignified community setting.

HOPE Clubhouse is one of more than 350 clubhouse programs worldwide, based on the principle that meaningful work is critical in bringing positive change to the lives of those living with mental illness. Clubhouse staff help “members,” as they are called, develop work skills to enable them to return to productive employment in the community.

For tickets to the Kevin Nealon comedy night, call the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre at 239-278-4422. For more information about HOPE Clubhouse, call Webb at 239-313-6303 or visit www.hopeclubhouse.org.