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One of the hottest comedians, magicians and ventriloquists performing today will bring his “Mind Boggling” variety show to East Central University Thursday [SEPT. 15] for the opening of ECU’s Fine Arts Season.
Andy Gross, who performs more than 150 family-friendly, often sold-out shows a year, will appear at 7:30 p.m. in the Ataloa Theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. The audience can try to figure out his methods by watching big-screen video close-ups of some of his magic tricks.
Gross is a regular at comedy clubs, colleges, performing arts theaters and Fortune 500 corporate events across the country, as well as on cruise ships and several television shows. He enjoys a relaxed rapport with the audience and his ad-libs during his stand-up are compared frequently to Don Rickles and Robin Williams. His voice throwing has been called the best in the business.
Season ticket sales for the Fine Arts Season remain open through noon Thursday [SEPT. 15] at the ECU Foundation Inc.’s office in the Sterling Williams Foundation and Alumni Center. The cost is $111.12 for five national touring productions, plus a bonus Christmas show and five ECU Theatre and ECU Opera productions. Individual tickets for Andy Gross and the other touring productions are $18 each.
Individual tickets may be purchased online at or at the theatre the night of the performance. Tickets also may be reserved by calling the theatre’s box office at 580-559- 5751. Reserved tickets may be picked up at the will-call window the night of the show.
Gross has collected ventriloquism and magic ephemera for more than 20 years and has more than 250 antique ventriloquist dummies with some dating back to the early 1800s.
Before he became a full-time entertainer, Gross was a professional athlete. By age 15, he had become the youngest professional racquetball player in the history of the sport. He won more professional tournaments in Southern California than any other player. He and his brother David, also a pro, won more than 60 first-place doubles tournaments. He remained on the pro tour until he retired at age 26. 
His children also are in the entertainment business. His son Jordan David works steadily in television and film, most recently guest-starring in “Criminal Minds” and “The Mentalist.” His daughter Morgan Lily, 11, has appeared in five motion pictures, including “2012” and “X-Men,” playing young Mystique, as well as TV guest-starring spots and many TV commercials. His 5-year old daughter Riley Jane can be seen in national magazine ads.
ECU’s Fine Arts Season also includes Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and guitar/keyboardist Jim Peterik; doo-wop group Alley Cat with a bonus Christmas show; Nobodies of Comedy, six up-and-coming comedians; Broadway singer Franc D'Ambrosio, best known as the “Phantom” in “Phantom of the Opera;” and Black Violin, two musicians who fuse their classical training with the urban musical genre.
Individual tickets for the touring shows are $18. The Christmas show will cost $12 and tickets for the ECU productions are $10, with a $1 discount for senior citizens and non-ECU students.
ECU Theatre productions include “Blythe Spirit,” “A Shot in the Dark,” “Cabaret” and “Lysistrata.” ECU Opera will present “Hansel and Gretel.” 

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