Extended through September 2 at the Central Square Theater, Car Talk: The Musical!!! is generating a lot of buzz around greater Boston. But insiders know that the production originated at Suffolk and put through its paces at the University’s new Modern Theatre.
Inspired by the legendary National Public Radio show, Car Talk, the musical was written and directed by Suffolk professor Wesley Savick. The Suffolk Theatre Department premiered a student version of the show to sold-out audiences and great acclaim in March of 2011.
Savick describes the play as “an unlikely marriage between Broadway musical and automotive advice.” He is also directing the Central Square production.
“I’m glad to see my play, as well as members of the original Suffolk production, move on to professional production,” says Savick.
Tiffany Chen ’12, who originated the role of Miata C. LaChassis while a student at Suffolk, will reprise the role in the Central Square production.
In the musical, the hapless middle-aged owner of a terminally ill ’93 Kia, Rusty Fenders, attempts to salvage happiness from the junkyard of his life. In the process, he collides with his ruthless garage boss Beaulah Gasket, his unrequited office romance Sheila, and the red-hot fantasy car Miata C. LaChassis. The show features the cameo voice-overs of Tom and Ray Magliozzi—otherwise known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers”—the witty co-hosts of the popular NPR show. But ultimately, this is a show about romance, not oil changes, with original songs, automotive jokes, and dancing.
Other Suffolk ties to the Central Square production include pianist Scott Nicholas, music director of the show, who teaches piano and coaches music theatre at the University. Ryan Began ’11 is the show’s assistant director and Alycia Marucci ’11 is assistant stage manager. Cathy Carr Kelly, MBA ’91, is executive director of the Central Square Theater, a post she’s held for more than five years.
Suffolk University produced the Central Square Theater production in collaboration with the Underground Railway Theater, where Jim Kaufman, managing director of the Suffolk theatre Department and Modern Theatre, is a board member.
Suffolk’s support of the show is just one of many ways the University links students to professional theatre and the process of developing new musicals.
Car Talk: The Musical!!! -- originally scheduled to run in Cambridge through mid-August -- has been extended due to popular demand through September 2. Buy tickets.