Side-splitting Mazan to raise roof at Zabee

by Nathan Warner

Contributing writer

Inspired hilarity is arriving express at Zabee Theater in Elk River, with nationally renowned comedian Steve Mazan touching down from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 22.

Mazan, who won an Emmy for his writing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and has appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” is known for his clean and clever comedy. The event, which is open to the public, was spearheaded by Westwood Elementary art specialist Amy Cunningham, who met Mazan at an event in St. Cloud last year and asked if he would perform for a fundraiser. All money raised at the event will go toward an auditorium for Zimmerman High School, something Cunningham feels would benefit the community in a huge way.

Submitted artwork A poster created to help market the event shows both Steve Mazan and the opening act.
Submitted artwork
A poster created to help market the event shows both Steve Mazan and the opening act.

“This isn’t just about drama,” she says. “We want to create a community living room.”

Cunningham is spearheading the event along with fellow members of the Emerging Stars Committee, Jon Palashewski, Laura Burghius and Carisa Halter.

Cunningham and her fellow teachers several months before a failed school levy seeking operational dollars for the school district formed the committee to work toward a future with an auditorium.

“We think the community could really use a place to do anything and everything in,” Cunningham says, “whether used by students, performing artists, dance troupes or local businesses.” The Emerging Stars Committee would like to see an auditorium built to create that “community living room.”

The event is sponsored by Pizza Ranch and promises to be one to remember for years to come, with Steve Mazan’s website saying his “comedy has been called ‘brilliant’ and ‘side-splitting.’ ”

The show will be preceded with an opening act by the Bearded Men Improv comedy group, which has garnered attention statewide.

The fundraiser is a public event and is open to all ages. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Zimmerman Elementary, Zimmerman High School and Westwood Elementary or can be purchased at Zabee Theater during the performance. General admission is $20, and $15 for students and seniors. All proceeds go to the Zimmerman Auditorium Fund.