James Rocco to Join Rob Ashford, Susan Stroman and More as BROADWAY SALUTES Inductee, 9/24
James Rocco (Vice President Programming and Producing Artistic Director of Ordway Center for the Performing Arts) is being recognized for his 25 Years of Dedication to the theatre at 3:30 p.m. on September 24, 2013 at the Times Square Visitor Center. The Broadway League and Coalition of Broadway Unions will be inducting James as well as Rob Ashford, Karen Azenberg, Jeff Calhoun, Sheldon Epps, Joey McKneely, Gregory Mosher and Susan Stroman into BROADWAY SALUTES.
Broadway Salutes celebrates the countless professionals who have made Broadway great for decades, recognizing a wide range of theatre professions including stagehands, actors, producers, managers, theater owners, press agents, ticket sellers, ushers, agents, make-up artists, dressers, designers, directors, choreographers, musicians, casting agents & more - anyone who has dedicated their career to the Broadway industry.
Rocco began his career touring the country as a boy in OLIVER with Ray Walston and in CAROUSEL with John Raitt. He made his screen debut in Sidney Lumet's Paramount Picture, CHILD'S PLAY, based on the Tony Award Winning Play. At 16, he produced and directed his first show in NYC, HENRY, SWEET HENRY which was playing at the legendary Mercer Arts Center when it spectacularly collapsed to the ground and then later moved the show "uptown" to the Lambs Theatre.
He has worked extensively as an actor (The Rum Tum Tugger on Broadway in CATS, Co-Star of the 1st International Tour & TV Ashai Production of Duke Ellington'S SOPHISTICATED LADIES, The Witch in INTO THE WOODS and Judas in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR ), singer (featured soloist at Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and on tour with Herbie Hancock) and recently hit the FMQB Top 40 Chart with Diane Warren's song AND THE NIGHT STOOD STILL from his recent CD IT'S BETWEEN US.
Rocco is currently Producing Artistic Director of The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, MN, where he is a member of The Broadway League and the IPN. During his time at The Ordway he has booked distinctive Broadway touring shows like SPAMALOT, AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY, NEXT TO NORMAL and others; He produced LOVE JANIS (Ivey Award and citations), THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, CABARET (Co-pro with 5th Avenue Theatre, (Ivey Award and citations), CINDERELLA, JOSEPH, GREY GARDENS and others; He was the Executive Director of THE WORLD WE CREATE, an Emmy Award Winning documentary about Ordway's Flint Hills International Children's Festival; He created and instituted the successful ORDWAY EXTRAS SERIES.
Mr. Rocco is a member of SDC, AEA and ASCAP. Prior to arriving at The Ordway, he worked extensively as a producer, writer, director and/or choreographer all over the globe including Broadway, London and Tokyo. He helmed THE WIZARD OF OZ starring Roseanne, Eartha Kitt and Mickey Rooney among others.
He was selected by the US Air Force and Retired General John Brooks to create the Air Force extravaganza BORN OF A DREAM, at the Kodak Theatre in LA and later on DVD. He even found time to moonlight as a consultant for DREAMWORKS.
He commissioned the holiday musical A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CAROL and created the off-Broadway cult hits NITE CLUB CONFIDENTIAL and STREAKIN'! His re-envisioned stage version of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN has been seen around the world. His recent production of PIRATES OF PENZANCE did record breaking business at the legendary 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle and is being readied for a national tour.
On October 17, 2013 Rocco begins his 3rd season as host and writer of THE BROADWAY SONGBOOK SERIES at The Ordway and later this year will serve as dance coach to Park Square Theatre's production of WORDS BY.
Pictured: James A. Rocco outside The Ordway Center, 2013.