'President Adams' to visit Temple Isaiah

What would you ask President John Adams if you had the chance?

You can get your opportunity — no flux capacitor required — at Temple Isaiah on Friday night when historical impressionist Peter Small takes the stage as the second president, who was also a statesman and political theorist.

"It's giving a history lesson in first-person," Small said. "It brings history alive and makes it relevant. It's no longer just facts and figures that you've read in some old book."

Small will give a presentation on key points of Adams' life and ideology during Shabbat services at 8 p.m. at the Newport Beach temple on Irvine Avenue, which shares facilities with Harbor Christian Church.

As an impressionist for 12 years, Small has portrayed George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Golda Meir and Moses.

Smith first developed his "living history" lessons as a substitute and religious teacher in Prince George's County, Md., in the 1980s. Now he is an adjunct instructor for the North Orange County Community College District's Older Adult Program.

As a member of Living Legends — a professional group of reenactors who perform at Los Angeles and Orange county schools, civic groups and other organizations — Smith said he aims to preserve history as a "guide to our future."

"What we find is that people don't change," Small said. "Humanity behaves the same throughout the centuries."


Twitter: @speters01

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