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Celebrating Hellenism

Dennis Boutsikaris (top, left), George Pelecanos (bottom, left), Constance Stamatiou (center), Aliki Theofilopoulos (right)

The Elios Charitable Foundation (ECF) recently announced the plans for its biennial Hellenic Charity Ball which is slated for Saturday, November 16 at the historic Westin St. Francis on Union Square in San Francisco.

The evening honors prominent Greek-Americans for their extraordinary work in the arts and entertainment industry. This year’s line-up showcases an eclectic class with Broadway and Hollywood character actor Dennis Boutsikaris, award winning author and HBO writer/producer George Pelecanos, acclaimed dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Constance Stamatiou, and world-renowned film and television animation director and creator Aliki Theofilopoulos.

This year’s Hellenic Charity Ball will also be hosted by popular television and Broadway stars Marilu Henner (Taxi) and Constantine Maroulis (American Idol).

“On behalf of the Elios Charitable Foundation, it is my honor to announce the details of this year’s Hellenic Charity Ball, a biennial evening that rallies and unifies Greek Americans while reaffirming the essence of our being Greek, our philotimo,” stated John Gumas, ECF President and Chair.

Boutsikaris was the first American to play Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Broadway in Amadeus. His other credits include Filumena directed by Sir Laurence Olivier, Bent and the 2009 revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs. His many films include The Bourne Legacy, Money Monster, Dream Team and Crocodile Dundee 2, among others. Currently, Dennis can be seen as Richard Schweikert in Better Call Saul, as President Roarke in Quantico and many appearances on Law and Order. He has also earned several awards for his work on over 140 audiobooks.

Novelist, screenwriter, film and television producer, Pelecanos is the author of 21 novels set in and around Washington, D.C. as well as producer/writer of the HBO series The Wire, Treme, The Pacific, and The Deuce. A recipient of numerous international writing awards, author Stephen King wrote that he is “perhaps the greatest living American crime writer.”

In addition to Stamatiou’s dancing with the AAADT, she has performed at the White House Dance Series and has been a guest performer on So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars, and The Today Show, among others. On film, she danced on Shake, Rattle & Roll and in Dan Pritzker’s Bolden.

Theofilopoulos launched her career animating the iconic Disney films including Hercules and Tarzan before moving into the television as a story artist, writer, director, lyricist, and executive producer which has included such favorites as Phineas and Ferb, Harvey Girls Forever and the first Minnie Mouse short on Disney’s Disney Mickey Mouse, for which she received an Annie nomination. She has also worked with Nickelodeon Animation, Warner Brothers Television Animation, and Hanna-Barbera production, to name a few.

“I’m proud we can celebrate our distinguished honorees and at the same time raise financial support and awareness of Hellenic beneficiaries,” added Gumas. “It is the support of these programs that truly informs our path forward as proud Greek Americans and Philhellenes.”

For tickets and more information, visit

ENTERTAINING NOTES. There are still three performances left to see Joe Orrach Performance Project’s (JOPP) play Cat’s Paw by William Mastrosimone. The play is performed at the newly opened Berkeley studio lab of the JOPP and the first of several works to be developed and performed at the studio. The worrisome relationship between terrorism and the media begat Mastrosimone’s play in 1985 and motivated stage director Darcy Marta to choose Cat’s Paw to launch JOPP’s 4th Street Productions. Performances are Friday and Saturday, November 8-9 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, November 10 at 6 p.m. Tickets and a suggested donation of $25 are available at The JOPP Studio is located at 1510 Fourth Street, Unit 2 in Berkeley. Visit for more details.


WEEKEND SCENE. Hiroshima Friday, Saturday, New York Voices Sunday, Kenneth Little Monday at Yoshi’s Jack London Square Oakland, yoshis.comStu Allen and Mars Hotel Friday, Baba Ken and West African Highlife Band Saturday, Soul Sanctuary Dance, Community DRUMMM Circle Sunday at Ashkenaz Berkeley, www.ashkenaz.comJim Cordiss Friday, Saturday at Zio Fraedo’s Pleasant Hill, www.ziofraedos.comYemen Blues Friday, 8th Annual Banjo Extravaganza Saturday, John Craigie Sunday, ViolaMania 4 Monday at Freight and Salvage Berkeley … Donnell Rawlings Friday- Sunday at Tommy T’s Comedy Club Pleasanton, tommyts.comLisa Loeb Saturday at Feinstein’s at the Nikko San Francisco,

Jim Breuer

TAHOE SPOTLIGHT. Jim Breuer brings his Live and Let Laugh show to the South Shore Room tomorrow night, November 9, at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe at 7:30 p.m. Next up is Rumours of Fleetwood Mac on November 16. Tickets to the Breuer show are $34.50 and $29.50 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster outlets,, Box Office locations at the showroom entrance, calling 800-745-3000 or visiting

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