Jay Leno to perform in Newport, will help raise funds for local firefighter battling cancer

Tickets go on sale at 11 am this morning.

The Firehouse Theater, in partnership with Jane Pickens Theater and What’sUpNewp, have announced that they will host a special evening with Jay Leno on Thursday, October 3, at 9 pm at Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center.

This one-night-only show will benefit a veteran Newport firefighter who is currently battling cancer. The firefighter just began his third round of chemo and is focused on fighting this with everything he has. For the sake of being overwhelmed with messages and media requests, he has asked not to be identified to the media or general public at this time.

Leno, who recently put down roots in Newport with the purchase of Seafair, heard of the firefighter’s story and wanted to host this show in his new part-time hometown to support the first responder.

“Jay surprised us at the Firehouse Theater this summer by coming in and doing and impromptu set, says Frank Fusaro, Artistic Director of Firehouse Theater. “Being Newport’s only full-time comedy venue, he really took a liking to the atmosphere and energy of our space. A few weeks after his pop-in he approached me about doing this charity event at the Firehouse. I was excited and humbled that he wanted to come back and bring such a special performance to our little theater and Newport. I immediately identified that our space wouldn’t do this event justice with our limited seating. That was when we decided to approach Jane Pickens. It was sad that the event wouldn’t happen in our space but we knew it was the right thing for the cause and the community. We are incredibly excited to be partnering with them on this”.

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“We’ve had a strong working relationship with The Firehouse Theater and Jane Pickens Theater for many years. As all of this was coming together, Frank approached me for some advice and assistance and it was a no brainer to jump right in and help with the logistics and organization of this event in any way that we could,” Ryan Belmore, Owner of What’sUpNewp said. “I hope that this fundraiser helps this firefighter financially, emotionally, and in anyway that he needs it right now, I know a lot of people are sending a lot of love his way during this time”.

“How this event came together says a lot about Mr. Leno. I think Mr. Leno is going to fit right in here in this caring and compassionate community, Newport and Rhode Island are lucky to have him as a neighbor”, Belmore concluded.


Tickets are $100 per person and will be available at janepickens.com beginning at 11 am on September 19th. Jane Pickens Theater will pass on the proceeds from ticket sales directly to the firefighter. Tickets are not tax deductible.

On October 3rd, doors will open at 9 pm and Leno will take the stage promptly at 9:30 pm for one ninety-minute set. Seating is on a first come first serve basis, ticket holders may begin lining up in front of the Theater in an orderly fashion beginning at 7 pm.

Jane Pickens Theater’s snack and beverage bar will be open before and during the performance in the lobby.

Jane Pickens Theater is located at 49 Touro Street in Newport, Rhode Island.

Media Inquiries: Please contact Ryan Belmore at Ryan@whatsupnewp.com or 401-662-1653

About Jay Leno 

Acclaimed TV late night show host, admired stand-up comedian, best-selling children’s book author, much-in-demand corporate speaker, lovable TV and movie voice-over artist, pioneering car builder and mechanic, and philanthropist…it’s no wonder that Jay Leno is widely characterized as “the hardest working man in show business.”

Jay Leno’s late night television ratings domination included more than two decades of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” winning every consecutive quarter of his hosting over the past 19 years.. After resuming hosting the 11:35 PM program following its one-time interruption,, he made it once again the consistent and uninterrupted ratings leader for late night, once again leading all of the ensuing quarters handily, under the supervision throughout of executive producer Debbie Vickers. the process, he has been honored by the Television Academy with an Emmy for “Outstanding Comedy, Variety or Music Series.” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” has also taken home the trophy for “Favorite Late Night Show” in the annual TV Guide Awards determined by voting viewers, and he was recently installed in the Television Academy’s Broadcast Hall of Fame.

As if night-time dominance were not enough, Leno has also succeeded in the newest entertainment arena. “Jay Leno’s Garage” of which he is a producer as well as star. The NBC creation, which is viewed at Jaylenosgarage.com, has gained an international following on the Web, not to mention an Emmy Award and two additional nominations for Outstanding Special Class–Short-Format Nonfiction Programs. Leno, himself, is the recipient of the People’s Choice Award and other honors, including the Harris Poll selection as most popular star on television. Other personal highlights include his induction into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame, his upcoming reception of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the Hasty Pudding Award at Harvard University, an honor whose sole prior comedy/talk host recipient was Johnny Carson and an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Emerson College. Like Mr. Carson, Groucho Marx and an elite group of entertainment figures, he has been invited to have his papers installed in the Library of Congress. He also received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame (asking that it be placed in front of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum since is where he was arrested for vagrancy when he first arrived in Hollywood. He also has set several land speed records and became the first person to drive the pace car of all major NASCAR events.

Having passed the torch of Tonight Show succession to Jimmy Fallon, Jay Leno has increased his customary busy schedule of comedy performances in top venues around the United States and occasionally abroad, continues his web venture relating to his passion for automobiles and is in consideration of the many other applications of his time and talents which have been offered or which he is personally evolving.” He interrupted these pursuits to make his first trip to Israel for the honor of presenting the Genesis Award, Israel’s equivalent of the Nobel Award, to Michael Bloomberg.

It was in May of 1992 when Leno followed in the footsteps of legendary NBC late-night hosts Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson as “Tonight Show” host. Pitted against another television superstar David Letterman in the ll:35 PM hour, Leno became the ratings leader of late night within two years and never looked back, establishing firm leadership in all demographic categories, a winning streak exceeding 50 consecutive quarters.

Prior to becoming host, Leno had been the exclusive guest host on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” since September 1987. He first appeared as a guest on the show March 2, 1977, and he made numerous additional appearances on the show, as well as NBC’s former program “Late Night with David Letterman.”

An indefatigable performer, Leno loves to test his humor live on audiences across the nation, performing over 100 live appearances in nightclubs, theaters and stadiums each year, including during his long Tonight Show hosting. He has been touted as one of the nicest people in show business and the hardest-working — a winning tandem for the man who says “Anyone can have a life – careers are hard to come by!”