The Jersey Shore is coming to Kean University!
UNION, N.J. -- The Jersey Shore is coming to Kean University!
No, not the Snooki-Situation “shore.” The place that inspired a new musical comedy, Over The Boardwalk, is the more traditional sand, surf, fun-in-the-sun shore; the kind that prompts memories of happier days of cotton candy, taffy, rides, games and, of course, families. Kean University is hosting a premier staged reading of this family-centered show which will be open to industry professionals and the public. The performance will be held on Saturday, March 10 at 2 p.m. in the Zella Fry Theatre. No tickets are required, and a talk back with the writers will take place following the performance.
Set in the “happy days” of the summer of 1963, Over The Boardwalk is a coming-of-age musical with an all-original score evoking that time period. The setting is a fictional New Jersey beach boardwalk amusement pier similar to Jenkinsons’ in Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights and the old Asbury Park boardwalk. It follows philosophy grad student, Bobby, and journalist intern, Matthew, two outsiders (“bennys”) who are reunited at the beach. They arrive just as the “locals” Melody, Janet, Candy, Anthony, Grammie G and Big Al are facing their own individual and collective crises including plans by a determined developer who wants to demolish the boardwalk for a more “progressive” project.
Lou Ann (Cuccurullo) Behan, the show’s principal writer, is a Kean alum whose youthful, family centered summers at the shore were filled with memories that just don’t square, for her, with the derogatory jibes that the words “Jersey Shore” evoke. Behan is an attorney in New Jersey and Virginia, whose lifelong passion for writing has blossomed into more than an avocation in the past few years. This is her second musical comedy. Peruvian opera star, Jose Sacin, recently appeared in a staged reading of her musical, One More Night, in Reston, Virginia. She’s also written short plays and feature articles for print media; and is founder of a Theatre Ministry which performs shows to raise money for worthwhile charitable causes.
When asked what motivates her to write about her home state, Behan said, “There’s so much more to New Jersey than what television represents.”
The spirit of New Jersey’s residents is particularly interesting to Behan. “The people here have such a unique and enduring spirit. We’ve dealt with high property taxes; exorbitant auto insurance costs and numerous attempts at 'reform.' We’ve dealt with corruption at all levels," she said. "Through it all we’ve clung to our families-and our senses of humor-and endured. The shore has been, for many, a true refuge. It’s that invincible spirit, and steadfast commitment to family, you’ll see driving the characters in this show.”
Actor/director Joe Bevilacqua, creator and star of a Comedy-O-Rama series on satellite radio, and a fellow Kean alum, will direct the staged reading. Broadway veteran, Gary Fitzgerald is the musical director. His credits include original Broadway productions of Cats, Merrily We Roll Along, Nine and Dream Girls.
“Nearly all of the actors either currently live in New Jersey, or hail from there,” Behan said proudly.
For more information, please visit www.overtheboardwalkthemusical.com.