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on Jul 16, 2014
From Warren to Broadway
(With a Stop in Las Vegas)
Our speaker this week was Mark Rozzano from New York City, courtesy of Rob Berk, of course. Mark happened to be in Warren to attend his high school reunion at JFK High School. Rob’s Mom called him and said “you have to meet this guy.” And we all know that when Mom says that, we do it. Well, we are certainly glad he listened to his mother as a good son should and convinced Mark to join us.
Mark said his family owned a restaurant called the Fiesta Café and it used to provide boxed lunches for the Kenley talents as they were leaving town to go to their next performance. John Kenley happened to stop in at the Café and, as they say, that was that.
Mark’s lifelong fascination with the theater started with the Kenley Players. He had the opportunity to work with John Kenley for a number of years and shared information on Mr. Kenley’s background and how he became such a success in the theater arena.
After the Kenley Players, Mark ended up on Broadway as Associate Producer of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which ran for 13 years and is still the 8th longest running shown in Broadway history. He also produced the musical Leader of the Pack and the play 84 Charing Cross Road on tour in England.
He has worked extensively in Los Angeles theaters, including the record-breaking run of The Phantom of the Opera at the Ahmansom Theatre. Most recently at the Ahmansom Theatre, he managed the Kennedy Center revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies.
In Beverly Hills, Mark directed Lorenzo Lamas in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He has worked with some of Hollywood’s most iconic stars like Joan Collins, presenting her acclaimed one-woman show on tour in the United States and Australia.
Currently, Mark is managing the legendary Jerry Lewis in his live performances around the world and is the Associate Producer of Jerry’s recently completed film Max Rose, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. He also shared information on what it is like to work with Jerry who remains, at age 88, one of the world’s favorite and best loved comedians.
All in all, this was one of our best programs and we thank Mark for taking time away from his vacation to spend with Rotary. He is welcome to come back anytime he is in the area and share more information on this fascinating life he has with some of the best known, larger-than-life entertainers of our time.
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