Underground Railway Theater and Suffolk University present the World Premiere of Car Talk: The Musical!!! with books, lyrics, and direction by Wesley Savick, and original music by Michael Wartofsky. The production opened last night, June 14, and runs through August 12, 2012. Check out photos of the cast on stage below!
A new musical comedy inspired by the legendary National Public Radio show, Car Talk. Our hero – the overweight, always-late invertebrate Rusty Fenders – has racked up as many miles as his ‘93 KIA. Attempting to salvage happiness from the junkyard of his life, he collides with his ruthless boss Beaulah Gasket, his unrequited office romance Sheila, and the red-hot fantasy car Miata C. LaChassis. Can the Wizard of Cahs put the brakes on Rusty's musical wipe-out? Performed in Central Square, only a tomato’s throw away from the Good News Garage in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Our Fair City). Car Talk: The Musical!!! is low-brow, high-octane fun. Car and Theater Magazine named this show the “best automotive musical of the twenty-first century, so far.”
Car Talk: The Musical!!! features book, lyrics, and direction by Wesley Savick (Einstein’s Dreams, Tru Grace: A Holiday Memoir, Yesterday Happened: Remembering H.M.) and original music by Berklee Professor Michael Wartofsky who composed the music for Cupcake, which is currently enjoying its world premiere at Club Café in Boston.
Car Talk: The Musical!!! features and award-winning cast including Scott H. Severance as our hero Rusty Fenders, Leigh Barrett as his unrequited office romance Sheila, and one of Boston’s top comic musical theater performers, Maureen Keiller as his ruthless boss Beulah Gasket. The ensemble draws on the singing and dancing talents of Tiffany Chen (who returns from the Suffolk University student production to perform the role of Miata C. LaChassis), Diego Klock-Perez, Edward Tolve, Jonathan Luke Stevens, Christian Denzel Bufford, Elyse Collier, and Sarah Crane. Additionally, Car Talk: The Musical!!! features the voice-overs of Tom and Ray Magliozzi otherwise known as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.
Wesley Savick (book, lyrics, and direction) has directed or acted in over 80 professional productions, almost all new works, including world premieres by Christopher Durang, Shel Silverstein, Derek Walcott, Howard Zinn, and Robert Brustein. He has also written, co-written or adapted 20 produced plays. Mr. Savick is a tenured Professor at Suffolk University.
Michael Wartofsky (original music) Music/lyrics, The Man In My Head (New York Musical Theater Festival 2006 starring Darius de Haas) and Running Back, with Marcus Gardley. Composer, Cupcake, currently running at Boston’s Club Café featuring Karen MacDonald. For North Shore Music Theater, Mr. Wartofsky composed The Navigator and Friendship of the Sea. Professor, Berklee College; adjunct faculty/alumnus, NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
The artistic and design team includes music director Scott Nicholas, choreographer Michelle Chassé, Susan Zeeman Rogers (scenic), Seth Bodie (costumes), Jeff Adelberg (lighting), David Remedios (sound), Sam
Sewell (properties), and David Fichter and Will Cabell (puppetry). Dominique D. Burford is the production stage manager and Alycia Marucci is the assistant stage manager.
In March 2011, the Suffolk University Theatre Department launched the first student production of Car Talk: the Musical!!! to sold out audiences and great acclaim at the new Modern Theatre. Suffolk has a long-term commitment to nurturing new work. Mr. Savick has written and directed new plays and adapted classics for the Theatre Department. In 2004, he launched The National Theatre of Allston to create new experimental, political theatre in Boston with Suffolk alumni. Suffolk University's Boston Music Theatre Project is another Theatre Department program that links Suffolk students to professional musical theatre artists and the process of developing new musicals. These activities all provide distinctive opportunities for Suffolk students and help prepare them for the professional theatre.
Underground Railway Theater has a history of developing new work ranging from puppet spectacles commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (classics like Stravinsky’s Firebird, and a concert version of Shakespeare’s Tempest) to cabarets (The Christopher Columbus Follies, InTOXICating, and Washed-Up Middle-Aged Women). Resident Scenic and Puppet Designer David Fichter, who recent won the 2011 IRNE Award for Best Puppetry for the production of Arabian Nights during the 2011-2012 Season designs the puppetry for Car Talk: The Musical!!! Mr. Fichter designed the original puppet for the Suffolk University student production at the Modern Theatre.
Since the first student production of Car Talk: The Musical!!! the script has gone through further development with new songs being composed as a result of the casting of the World Premiere run at Central Square Theater.
Car Talk: The Musical!!! is performed at Central Square Theater at 450 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Our Fair City). Ticket prices start at $20. For tickets, scheduling, information about Central Square Theater, and more, visit CentralSquareTheater.org.
Photo credit: A.R. Sinclair Photography
Scott H. Severance (Rusty Fenders), Tiffany Chen (Miata C. LaChassis), Sarah Crane, and Elyse Collier
The Cast of CAR TALK
Maureen Keiller (Beaulah Gasket), Scott H. Severance (Rusty Fenders), and Leigh Barrett (Sheila B. Goodfew)
Scott H. Severance (Rusty Fenders), Maureen Keiller (Beaulah Gasket), Diego Klock-Perez, and Leigh Barrett (Shiela B. Goodfew)
Tiffany Chen (Miata C. LaChassis), Scott H. Severance (Rusty Fenders), and Leigh Barrett (Sheila B. Goodfew)
The Wizard of Cahs puppet in a scene from Car Talk: The Musical!!!