Press Releases Index

December 19, 2003
CONTACT: Jette Englund
Office of University Relations

Kean University Theatre Students to Perform Tuscaloosa in SoHo

UNION, N.J. – Tuscaloosa’s Calling Me … but I’m not going drew a full house while playing at Kean University in Union, N.J. in November. Now, with the sound of thunderous applause still ringing in their ears, the student actors are taking their show on the road to the SoHo section of New York City for two performances of Hank Beebe, Sam Dann and Bill Heyer’s 1976 musical about fun, odd and outright crazy everyday life in New York City. Directed by the chair of the Kean University Department of Theatre, Holly Logue, The Greenwich Street Theatre at 547 Greenwich St., will host this original production on Sunday, January 18, 2004, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. – the first time since 1976 the play has been shown to New Yorkers.

Tuscaloosa is a musical about the things we love and hate about New York City. It’s appealing and funny. I was able to cast it. It wasn’t too huge to produce, and really worked for our students and our budget,” said Logue, explaining some of the considerations she must pay attention to before she decides what to produce. “It has a series of scenes and songs and a variety of New York characters, so we were able to maximize our talent within the diversity of our student pool.” Musical direction is by Jim Sabo; choreography by Michele Mossay-Cuevas; conductor is Tom Connors; sets and lighting design by Nadine Charlsen; and costume design is by Karen Lee Hart.

The opportunity to strut their stuff in New York presented itself as an associate of Charlsen’s is a producer and director for The Greenwich Street Theatre, Logue explained. “Nadine has worked for her on several occasions, and when asked if we might use the theatre, she replied with an enthusiastic ‘Yes,’ so we felt that Tuscaloosa, being about New York City, was the perfect choice,” said Logue. “Our students are delighted to have the opportunity to perform the material for a New York crowd and, of course, to add a New York credit to their growing résumés.”

The play was first produced in 1976 and became an Off-Broadway musical hit with a cult-like following, according to Logue. The musical score was written by Beebe, who modified it after the events of September 11, 2001, that changed New Yorkers to the core but who have since regained some of their usual “zany and opinionated ways” so humorously portrayed in the original Tuscaloosa. Beebe was prompted to update the show to reflect this rejuvenated craziness in a post-9-11 New York. Songs and sketches about delicatessens, singles bars, snobbish Fifth Avenue shops, and sophisticated mating habits are featured in this fast-moving musical,” according to his official Web site.

Directions to the theatre: Greenwich St. is located between Charlton and Vandam streets. The closest subway line is the 1 and 9 to Houston, then south to the theatre. Tickets are $20 and can be reserved by calling Kean’s Department of Theatre at (908) 737-4420.