Car Talk, NPR’s program for the everyday automobile aficionado that’s taped right here at Boston’s WBUR, has had a good run. The hosts, brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, have been dishing out advice to listeners regarding their vehicular dilemmas since 1977, and when it was announced back in June that the program will stop producing new episodes come September, the news was a serious bummer to the thousands of listeners across the country who tuned in each week … including those who happened to be in the middle of preparing for the production of a musical loosely based on the show.
And by loosely based, we mean veeeery loosely based, in that this theatrical interpretation of the radio show involves falling in love with a Miata and a Wizard Of Cahhhs—two problems that Car Talk listeners have likely not called up the Magliozzis with. According to Scott Severance, who stars as Car Talk: The Musical’s down-on-his-luck leading man, Rusty Fenders, the local radio fixture proved to be an interesting prompt for a musical jaunt.
“The essence of car talk is good information, bad jokes, and a Boston accent,” he says, prepping for the third weekend of performances at the Central Square Theater. “And Car Talk: The Musical is not just shtick for shtick, although much of it is. It’s very Boston-centric, lots of jokes about local sports and politics and transportation, and I basically don’t use the letter ‘r’ for the entire show.”
Schtick and Kennedy-worthy drawls aside, Car Talk: The Musical is a unique opportunity to celebrate an unconventional spin on the boy-gets-girl route (in this case, the “girl” is a midlife crisis heartthrob of a sports car), a smidge of regional cheesiness, and a talented cast of local talent that knows how to work a silly script without taking themselves too seriously.
CAR TALK: THE MUSICAL
PRESENTED BY THE UNDERGROUND RAILWAY THEATER
NOW PLAYING THRU SUN 8.12.12
CENTRAL SQ. THEATER
450 MASS. AVE.
TIMES VARY/ALL AGES/$20-$50