New Years Eve 2015 ended with the passing of Natalie Cole and unfortunately, it didn't stop there. 2016 was not so kind in celebrity deaths, including many musical icons I grew up listening to (Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie, George Michael etc). Very sad year in the entertainment industry, as well as some very close, personal friends.
On a brighter note, this was my busiest year ever. I Wrote, Produced and Starred in 3 new shows in NYC, performed in not 1, but 3 different Christmas Productions and another project "2 Queers and a Bitch" took off!
I kicked off the year performing at the New York Comedy Club in January and coming back in May to headline the venue! I dropped my 4th show "Love On A Dead End Street" to the Duplex Cabaret Theater in February and in this show, I tackled LOVE...The GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY. It was also the COLDEST month with temperatures diving below 0. It was colder than Yolanda and David Foster's divorce!
Got the chance to host with Zola Powell at Stonewall Inn with a benefit for Margeaux Powell, and I also served as the Honorary Chair at the 30th Annual A Night of A Thousand Gowns at the Marriott Marquis. I also enjoyed my 2nd year performing at the Incredible Georgie's Bar for their annual Holiday Toy Drive in Asbury Park, NJ!
I was thrilled 50 Shades of Gay came back to Buddies Lounge, NJ in April, and the Off Key Tiki in Patchogue NY in July on the beach to packed venues! It just might come back to other spots in 2017, depending on my schedule next year!
This year, I celebrated my 50th Birthday with my 5th show "I Thought I Would Be Dead By Now" to a packed house and it was a star studded night on stage. I am quite sure everyone showed up to see if I would break a hip....NO SUCH LUCK!
During the summer, I signed on to bring my 2014 Christmas show "Ike Avelli Is Coming To Town" to the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ this November. If that wasn't enough, a few weeks later in December, I debuted my 6th show, my 2nd Christmas Production "You're A Mean One, Ike Avelli" once again to the fabulous Duplex Cabaret Theater! This show was filled with costumes from some of my favorite Christmas movies/cartoons! The holidays were in full blast for me this year!!
I was extremely lucky to be approached by Super Talented and Funny Robbyne Kaamil to be a part of a project she came up with titled "2 Queers and a Bitch". I was 1 Queer and Tym Moss the other. We started filming sketches and Round Tables on Youtube, and had our very first show to a packed house during pride weekend at the Duplex! The show was such a success, we now have an Official Tour Sponsor, UBERLUBE, and performed at Stonewall (Halloween) in NYC, Camp at Rehoboth Beach, DE, Don't Tell Mama (Christmas) in NYC and Transmission (Christmas) in Jersey City! Keep an eye out for 2017 dates by following us http://www.2queersandabitch.com/ !!!!
I continued to open for Amber Ferrari in her Janis Joplin/Madonna Tribute shows on Long Island at the incredible Patchogue Theater!
This year I was blessed to be interviewed by some super talented people! The Idiots Radio Show which is currently the #1 Radio Show on Wildfire! I even came back to the Idiots during the holidays as "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reinqueer"! I was a guest for Tym Moss and Artists Exposed at the LGBT Expo again this year! Totally Tyler's Pantless Periscope, where I appeared LIVE twice in my underwear (Thank God for his WIDE LENS!). I was a guest with the Parking Lot on Long Island 3 times and had a blast playing some incredible games on the air. Thrilled to be interviewed by the ICONIC Rye Seronie on 93.9 WLXU in Kentucky! And I was a guest on Gay 2.0 The Ultimate Podcast in CT where we sipped Caramel Apple Martini's and discussed EVERYTHING! I was featured in Get Out Magazine by the wonderful Eileen Shapiro and like to Thank Mike Todd as well for the great opportunity!
Huffington Post REVIEWS from Eileen Shapiro for my 50 Shades of Gay show and Jed Ryan for the 2 Queers and a Bitch production!
This year, The Tym and Ike show premiered on Youtube and we are 8 episodes in! Look forward to many more sketches/laughs to come!
So...what does 2017 have in store! I am currently writing 2 more shows, one which will debut this spring! Follow me at www.ikeavelli.net to keep up-2-date! Including some great interviews already scheduled!
I want to Thank ALL the incredible people I shared a stage with this year: Zola Powell, Margeaux Powell, Ari Kiki, Chris Williams, Brandy Rowell, Matt Bridgestone, Miz Cracker, Gio Michaels, Viki Villainess, Jeza Belle, MargOH Channing, Andy Julia, Amber Ferrari, Robbyne Kaamil and Tym Moss!
To all the great artist/venues who recorded a Video Birthday Wish during my show: The Idiots Radio Show, 801 Girls in Key West FL, Maci Sumcox, Margoh Channing and The Rainbow Room in Atlantic City..you are all THE BEST in taking the time out for me and making my Bday Show PHENOMENAL!!
To My Mom and Sister who are my biggest fans and never miss a show, and still good sports when a majority of the jokes are aimed at them. LOVE YOU!
To Tyrone Desperado, who no matter how many times I forget to mention him at my shows, literally takes care of every thing, from Photography, Graphic Design, Audio and Video at my shows, creating the outstanding programs for each and every show, and everything in between. YOU CAN DO IT ALL!
To my Personal Assistant and Niece, Nina, who is a PRO backstage helping me 'slip' in and out of my costumes. It's not a pretty job, but you do it for me EVERY SINGLE TIME!
Most important...ALL OF YOU out there who continuously support me on Social Media, and coming out to the shows. And all the new supporters this year, who came out to see me from Near and Far, without all of YOU, I would not be able to do what I love!
I wish you all a HAPPY/HEALTHY New Year for 2017!!