Cranston native Ron Sarro has enough friends and relatives in the city to fill Theatre-by-the-Sea for an evening’s performance. Sarro divides his time between Cranston and the Washington, D.C. area, where he acts and directs in a number of theatres.
“My roots are in Cranston,” he said. “I grew up in the Knightsville section, and my two daughters still live in Cranston. Susan is the regional director for the American Heart Association, and Joanne is program manager for a new marketing company. Rhode Island is very dear to my heart. Every summer our family rents homes in Point Judith and we all get together.”
Sarro’s father, Armand, was a well-known classical musician who played trombone for the National Symphony.
“His last performance was as a featured soloist with the Rhode Island Philharmonic,” he said. “My grandfather, Luigi Moretti, ran a speakeasy near the Cranston Print Works.”
Sarro, who started his acting career in mid-life, was a journalist for the Providence Journal, beginning his career as the Cranston area reporter. He went on to a distinguished career in television and newspapers in the Washington, D.C. area, winning two Grammys for his work. After retirement, he taught and became involved in community theatre.
“I grew to love the theatre,” he said. “In my previous career things seemed to just happen one after another, from covering Cranston to covering Congress. The only thing I really planned was my theatre career.”
Sarro returned to Rhode Island two years ago to play Smee in the TBTS production of “Peter Pan.”
“I love Theatre-by-the-Sea, even if it is a quick two-week rehearsal time,” he said. “And I love my role as Fieldzig – that’s a play on Ziegfeld – in this wonderful send-up to the old musicals, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
There was no question that Sarro was an award-winning journalist. He gave me his cell phone number so I could check the facts with him.
Lenny Watts returns after many years to the Matunuck theatre to play “the man in the chair,” and Phyllis Lynn of Warwick is making her TBTS debut as Mrs. Tollendale. Lynn has extensive credits in New York and regional theatre.
“The Drowsy Chaperone” is at Theatre-by-the-Sea Aug. 19 through Sept. 4. For tickets call 782-8587.