BEA Benefit to Feature Performance by Ellen DeGeneres

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Emmy-winning writer and comedian Ellen DeGeneres will address the book industry in a solo comedic benefit performance Saturday evening, May 31, 2003, at BookExpo America (BEA) in Los Angeles. The appearance was announced by BEA show management on January 9, and the news was the first update on BEA's headline Author Events.

Proceeds of the performance will benefit the Book Industry Foundation, which is comprised of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the Association of American Publishers' Get Caught Reading campaign. BEA is scheduled for May 30 - June 1, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles. The exact time and location of DeGeneres' performance will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

DeGeneres' second book is a collection of comic essays to be published by Simon & Schuster this fall. The book's publication will coincide with the launch of DeGeneres' new syndicated daytime talk show. About her appearance at BEA, DeGeneres commented, "I look forward to performing for the booksellers at BEA. Last year I did a show for the DEA, and they patted me down. I loved it. Now, along with bottled water, that is all I request before I go on stage."

"Given Ms. DeGeneres' exceptional talent and wit, it's no wonder that she's performed to sold out audiences throughout the world, and our bookselling community is thrilled by the opportunity to see her at our own event," noted Chris Finan, president of ABFFE. "We're truly honored that Ms. DeGeneres has agreed to perform for us, and we thank her for her support."

"The Saturday evening benefit has become one of the most anticipated events at BEA. It's a great opportunity for a talented celebrity author to perform for a captive audience of booksellers and support a good cause at the same time," said Patricia Scott Schroeder, president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers. "We're grateful to Ms. DeGeneres and to Simon & Schuster for their involvement in this worthwhile effort."

In the past two years, BEA's Saturday night benefit has sold out to crowds of more than 1,000, and has featured the industry's favorite band the Rock Bottom Remainders at BEA '02 and Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning artist Wynton Marsalis at BEA '01.

Watch BTW for continuing coverage of BEA in the upcoming weeks. For more information on BookExpo America, call (203) 840-5614 or visit