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This profile was last updated on 10/8/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Mark Harelik

Wrong Mark Harelik?


Local Address:  Los Angeles , Canada

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

114 Total References
Web References
Who's Who? - The American National Theatre, 8 Oct 2014 [cached]
Mark Harelik, Actor (Los Angeles, CA)
Cast & Crew | Infinity Theatre Company, 9 Aug 2014 [cached]
Regional: THE IMMIGRANT (Mark Harelik, playwright), LEND ME A TENOR, MY FAIR LADY, PLAZA SUITE, TWELFTH NIGHT. - ENTERTAINMENT, 11 May 2005 [cached]
"Piazza" stars the Denver Center Theatre Company's Mark Harelik, who also wrote the "The Immigrant."
American Theatre Wing - Theatre News, 9 Mar 2004 [cached]
The Immigrant features a book by Mark Harelik and a score by Sarah Knapp (lyrics) and Steven M. Alper (music and orchestrations).
' ' The fruit peddler's grandson turned out to be actor and playwright Mark Harelik, whose play become one of the most-produced works in the past 20 years of regional theatre.
Patience has paid off for the collaborators of The Immigrant.
More than 15 years ago, in collaboration with director Randal Myler, playwright Mark Harelik wrote a play, The Immigrant: A Hamilton Family Album, about his European Jewish forebears settling in Texas rather than the more Jewish-populated New York City in the 1900s.
Denver Center Theatre Company artistic director Donovan Marley had great faith in Myler and DCTC actor Mark Harelik 17 years ago, Myler explained.
"Mark had always wanted to write a story about his grandfather," Myler said.
I co-conceived the original play with Mark.The fun for me is to see it as a musical and to hear underscoring and not fight it, and to see it didn't need slides [visual elements which were part of the original production]."
Songwriters Knapp and Alper, married for 17 years with two produced musicals (Chamberlain and The Library) under their belts, met Harelik at the New Harmony Project in Indiana in 1997, and Harelik suggested his hit play as a possible source for a musical.
Mark's use of language so often gave clear guidelines to lyrics.Words bounced off the page.You'll see all over the place that I have stolen from Mark."
Rocky Mountain News: On Stage, 16 Jan 2002 [cached]
Mark Harelik, writer of the "The Immigrant," stands on the set of the musical about a Jewish immigrant who settled in central Texas.The play opens Jan. 24 at the Stage Theater in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts complex.
Name: The Immigrant
Former DCTC member Mark Harelik first staged the tribute to his grandfather in 1985.It came back in a bigger production the next season, and last fall a new musical version was workshopped in New York.Harelik's back in Denver putting the final touches on the musical before its first full staging.
"Donald Seawell, I think on our opening night of the play, said this would make a good musical," Harelik says as he watches the set go up at the Stage Theatre."I just sort of accepted that as a generic compliment and went on my way."
But five years ago, at a playwright's workshop in New Harmony, Ind., Harelik ran into composer Steven M. Alper and lyricist Sarah Knapp.
"I thought, 'This would be good for The Immigrant,' and rather than plugging songs into places, these are whole scenes that could be set to music," Harelik says.
Harelik lives in Los Angeles; his collaborators live in New York.The three communicated by phone, e-mail and cassette tape to put the play into musical form.The tribute to Haskell Harelik, as a play one of America's most-produced works, breathed new life.
The Harelik patriarch was a Russian Jew who immigrated via Galveston, Texas, where Jewish immigrants were diverted to ease the burden on Ellis Island.He found himself the only Jew in the tiny town of Henderson, Texas, where he became a banana peddler and eventually a merchant.Mark Harelik hoped to tell the story of all immigrants positioning by Haskell, the stranger, against Texans who had never seen a Jew before, and eventually against his descendants, who grew up Americans.
"It turns out the play is as much about parents and children as it is about immigrants," Harelik says.
Just days before previews began, Harelik was still tinkering with a script he's been developing for 16 years."We've been making some substantial changes, mostly to internal structure of scenes.We're always chipping at it," he says.
He relies on Knapp, Alper and director Randal Myler (who guided the original production) for a bit of perspective."I think I probably lost a certain critical eye," Harelik says."Places I should be more critical of I have come to like a lot."
Much of the play's initial success, he says, was owed to Denver's Jewish community, which filled the tiny Source Theatre."I think it struck a chord because outside of New York there are hundreds of Jews who have a small-town or Southern or Southwestern history."
The Denver production will soon move to Miami's Coconut Grove, and eventually it may return to New York."One of our regrets was that it got a rave review in The New York Times but the theater was broke, so they weren't able to do any advertising," Harelik says."It just sort of died on the vine there."
For the first time in Denver, Harelik, now 50, will not be playing the role of his grandfather (that job goes to Adam Heller)."It's such a relief," Harelik says."In a funny way, I don't think I was very good in the role.I don't think I was quite appropriate."
Haskell, he says, was a bit of a character.With his broad physique and strong profile, Harelik's type is more "generic leading man -- which means I'm nothing," he says.
Since the original production, Harelik has hit the public eye in some off-center ways of his own.Seinfeld fans will recognize him as the jealous tennis pro whose wife hit on Jerry.But the real fame came from a single appearance on Star Trek: Voyager, which put him on hundreds of Web sites."The worldwide Seinfeld club is not as extensive," he explains.
Harelik plans to head back to California and look for TV and film work after The Immigrant opens.This summer he'll appear in The Beard of Avon at the Goodman Theatre.And he'll be rooting for The Immigrant.
"I'll try to help that along as much as I can in my unambitious, disinterested passion," he says."I would like to hear from the actors, get an e-mail saying they're lined up to 15th Street."
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