Bringing down the house: Comedian Vic Arnell and singer Holly Lipton return to JCMI

Comedian Vic Arnell and singer Holly Lipton brought the house down last time they performed at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island.

This year, the synagogue’s fundraising committee has invited them back to do it again.

The husband and wife performing team will bring their popular comedy and song routine to the congregation at 7 p.m., Sunday. Tickets cost $40 and all proceeds will benefit the synagogue.

“You don’t see this type of show in Marco or in Naples,” said Shirley Posner, the co-chair of the entertainment fundraising committee along with Phyllis Borr. “People really enjoy them. They get a standing ovation every time.”

This is the third performance for Arnell and Lipton at the synagogue, which turns into a theatre with professional lighting and sound for the performance. The comedy and music show is part of the congregation’s various fundraisers, which includes a speaker series and film festival.

The couple and Posner were neighbors in New York 39 years ago. When Posner became co-chair six years ago and needed to put on a creative fundraising event, she instantly thought of Arnell and Lipton. Arnell said he couldn’t refuse his friend’s request.

“It’s a good cause, and we have known Shirley for so long,” said Arnell, a comedian since 1955. “Plus the audience is always fun and receptive.”

“I wouldn’t come back if they weren’t,” Arnell joked.

Arnell, who has opened for Liza Minnelli and Barry Manilow, entertains the crowd with stories about his everyday life. Posner believes Arnell’s autobiographical routine is what draws the audience.

“I love when he talks about his personal life and brings his children in,” said Posner, a Marco resident for 14 years. “People really relate to it, and it’s hysterical.”

Lipton opens and closes the two-hour show, singing a repertoire of Broadway melodies and modern classics to the tune of a three-piece band. She has starred in Broadway musicals, such as “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Nine.” Lipton also worked with George Burns, Don Rickles, Rosie O’Donnell and Jerry Seinfeld.

“He voice is like an angel,” Borr said, “When she sings, it captivates everyone listening.”

In years past, the duo has had a hard time ending their performances at the synagogue.

“The crowd keeps giving us standing ovations,” Arnell said. “As long as they want it, we are happy to give 110 percent.”

Posner said she and the congregation are as glad to have them, as they are happy to perform.

“The way the world is, it’s always a pleasure to sit back, relax, laugh and be entertained,” Posner said. “And that’s what they do for us.”

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