BIOGRAPHY TOM CARROZZA
Tom Carrozza hails from Chicago, back when hailing was still in vogue. From a very early age he demonstrated a love for performing. He knocked ‘em dead in 1st grade when he played a Bookworm wiggling down into his hole, he slayed ‘em when he won a game on WGN-TV’s Bozo Circus, and he laid ‘em in the aisles as a Cub Scout doing sketches in front of very large audiences at the annual pack meetings.
When his family moved to the South Suburbs, he enrolled in Saturday Morning acting classes at St. Xavier College when he ultimately played Ichabod Crain in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and a Gravedigger in Hamlet.A few years after that he joined The Pitt Players at The Beverly Art Center and got to play such plum roles as Marcellus in The Music Man, Mr. DePinna in You Can’t Take It With You, Ali Hakim in Oklahoma! and Luther Billis in South Pacific. Also at that time he played Marryin’ Sam in Li’l Abner.He earned his Equity card at 17 when he performed children’s theatre on Sunday Mornings at The Drury Lane Theatres. His most notable roles were Owl in WInnie the Pooh, Axman in Little Red Riding Hood, and a Thief in Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.
At that time he also began his studies at The Second City in Chicago and ended up in their children’s show as well.When his college plans fell through, a surprising spin of events landed him in New York City and studying full time at HB Studios (where he would later teach). Within months Fate brought him together with the super talented people who were about to start The 1st Amendment Improv Co. They built their own theatre at #2 Bond Street, and a hit was born. The shows were always packed and frequently visited by major celebrities. Robin Williams even hopped on stage from time to time. That is also where Tom began teaching Improv - something he’s been doing now for decades.
Tom dabbled in radio, bringing raw Improv to the airwaves with two shows of his own: Our Hour with Jane Brucker, and The Please Curb Your Dog Show. These resulted in an award-winning collection of audio tracks known as The Hubbub Tapes, which were recorded between 1986 and 1988.
After performing with The 1st Amendment at The Fringe Festival in Scotland, Tom made a bold move towards sketch and written material. He launched the 4-man comedy group Mental Furniture. “We were born in a park on Halloween Night in 1988,” Carrozza recalls. “We found a broken guitar and put a fat candle in it. The four of us solemnly agreed to do comedy together. Then a huge white dog sort of attacked us, and we took that as a good sign.” Mental Furniture played with success on both coasts, but is best known for its show at The Joseph Papp Public Theatre.
Having brought his writing into focus, Tom then wrote and produced plays like Plucked From The Wreckage and an anti-gun comedy called The Inevitable in tiny theatre spaces that were often in the bowels of New York City. He also directed a lot of fun shows like Live From The Lava Lamp Lounge, Eons of Bad Behavior, Broadstrokes, Lithium Breakfast, I Must Be a Woman, Comedy Mind Spill, Darthula and They Saved Hitler’s Colon.
On TV he could be seen on BBC’s The Rubi Wax Show, Nickelodeon’s Total Panic, and TV-411 on PBS.
In 2000 Tom collaborated with Noel Katz on Area 51 - The Musical! which sported a cast of 17 and 23 new songs! He continues to perform in Sunday Night Improv, is often seen in shows done by The 52nd Street Project and The Liquid Radio Players in L.A.
Since then he has begun recording music, some of which he even wrote. He has recorded two albums so far, Zesty and In Your Ear, and is beaverishly working on a third.
What’s he doing now? Some say he is a lonely man who just likes to write about himself in the third person while others say that’s not true - he eats Hostess products, too.