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Distinguished Guests

Whatever happened to the makers of “Rock 'N' Roll Hotel”?

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Rachel Sweet dropped out of sight after the making of “Rock 'N' Roll Hotel” before appearing in original “Hotel” director Richard Baskin's musical, “Sing,” in 1989. She had a musical role in John Waters' films “Hairspray” and “Cry Baby,” and was host of cable TV show “The Sweet Life.” Her most famous acting role came as George Costanza's cousin on an episode of “Seinfield.” She later became a writer, composer and producer of numerous TV shows, including “Dharma and Greg,” “The George Lopez Show” and “Legally Blonde.”

Judd Nelson gained fame a few years after leaving Richmond with back-to-back performances in “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo's Fire.” Since then he's been seen in theatrical movies such as “New Jack City” and on television in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” Nelson's most recent public appearance was at the 2010 Academy Awards, when he and fellow Brat Pack actors paid tribute to the late director John Hughes.

Following “Rock 'N' Roll Hotel,” Matthew Penn tried his hand at other teen movies, such as “Playing for Keeps,” before becoming a television director and producer. The Emmy nominee has worked on numerous episodes of “Law and Order,” as well as “NYPD Blue,” “The Sopranos” and, most recently, “House” and “Damages.”

Comedian Dick Shawn, the veteran of such films as “It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” “Love at First Bite” and Mel Brooks' “The Producers,” died onstage in 1987 in San Diego.

A veteran of numerous award-winning Broadway productions, including “A Chorus Line,” “Cabaret” and “Annie Get your Gun,” Donna McKechnie overcame debilitating bouts of depression and rheumatoid arthritis to continue her singing and dancing career. McKechnie's autobiography, “Time Steps,” was published in 2006.

Colin Quinn became a “Saturday Night Live” cast member and appeared on such shows as MTV's “Remote Control” and Comedy Central's “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.” He currently appears in an off-Broadway one-man-show, “Long Story Short,” directed by Jerry Seinfeld.

Screenwriter Russell Dvonch is a writer, blogger and author of the book, “The Heart Attack Germ.” He recently recorded a narration track for the Blu-Ray DVD edition of “Rock and Roll High School” (starring the Ramones), which he wrote prior to “Rock 'N' Roll Hotel.”

Set designer and film discoverer Craig Hodgetts worked briefly with producer Roger Corman after “Rock 'N' Roll Hotel,” and is an architect with the firm Hodgetts + Fung in Culver City, Calif.

The younger sister of Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Nebraska, “Hotel” set designer Mary Lambert went on to a successful career as a director of horror films such as “Pet Semetary” and “The Attic.” She's also helmed music videos for artists such as Janet Jackson, Go-Go's, Mick Jagger, Chris Isaak, MAtley CrA┬Če, Sting and Whitney Houston, and directs the epic Syfy Channel series, “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.”

Producer Peter Aristotle Rodis was president of the New York University Film School from 1991-1995. He now works with the Bloom Real Estate Brokerage in New York and Florida, and is in preproduction on a documentary on singer Nina Simone.

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