WHATCo presenting ‘The Great Gatsby: A Live Radio Play’

The cast

The West Hudson Arts & Theater Co raises the curtain on its next production, “The Great Gatsby: A Live Radio Play,” for two consecutive weekends beginning Friday, May 19.

Adapted for the stage by Joe Landry from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel and featuring original music by Kevin Connors, performances are at WHATCo’s new theater at 15 Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard S., Harrison, May 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. and May 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults or $15 for senior citizens and students and may be purchased at www.whatconj.org.

The WHATCo Box Office at the theater will also be open for advance ticket sales; check WHATCo Instagram and Facebook pages for hours. Some tickets may also be available at the door the day of performances.

In this adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald’s classic comes to life as a 1940s radio broadcast. The ensemble brings more than two dozen characters from the novel to the stage of the WHATCo radio station for a live broadcast, punctuated by 40s-era commercials.

It’s a story of triumph and tragedy that reflects the decadence of the Jazz Age and the perils of the American Dream.

The show is directed by Beatriz Esteban-Messina with musical direction by Scott Burzynski, and the cast features Christopher Tully as Nick Carraway; Jason Simmons as Jay Gatsby (performing May 19-21); Byron Hagan as Jay Gatsby (performing May 26-27); Janna Epstein as Daisy Buchanan; Tara Spinelli as Jordan Baker; and Nelson DePasquale as Tom Buchanan.

With Richard Dwyer as the announcer and Owl Eyes; George Rex as Meyer Wolfsheim; Joseph Jones as George Wilson; Matt Masiello as Michaelis and Klipspringer; Carlos Caban DeJesus as Policeman, Gatsby’s butler, Train conductor; Jack Pignatello as Nick’s father, Partygoer 2, Henry C. Gatz; Miranda Madrazo as Lana Sherwood and Buchanan’s maid; Jessica Jones as Myrtle, Partygoer #1, well-dressed lady, Gatsby’s gardener; Cynthia Ross as Catherine and Sally Applewhite; Roman Koster as the Foley artist. The stage managers are Marisa Cicchino Friedman and Deborah Vartan.

Free parking is available in the fenced lot at the corner of Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard South and Jersey Street.


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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.