Musical about punching bag Staten Island heads to Manhattan

Staten Island Chuck lives on.

The forgotten borough’s beloved groundhog that died after a fall from former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s arms in 2014 has been resurrected to narrate a limited Manhattan production of “Staten Island! The Musical

A pair of high school friends and Staten Island natives have turned the banalities of their oft-hated hometown — and the weird wonders of New York City’s favorite geographic punching bag — into something to celebrate in song.

Following a sold-out run on the other side of the Verrazano Bridge last summer, the off-off-Broadway presentation is coming for a five-show run at West 36th Street’s The Tank starting Dec. 1. 

“Everyone has their own preconceived notion of Staten Island and it’s not usually positive,” the musical’s book and lyric writer, Matt Izzo, explained to The Post. “We wanted to tell a story that proves that Staten Island is an everytown — just with its own specific and bizarre versions of relatable problems, people and infrastructure concerns.”

staten island the musical
The show is narrated by Chuck, the dead groundhog.
Courtesy of thisIZZit Production
staten island the musical
The production’s logo.
Courtesy of thisIZZit Production
staten island the musical
Tracks include “You’re in My Spot,” “We Could Use Another Bank” and “Walk the Mall.”
Courtesy of thisIZZit Production
staten island the musical
The Staten Island Ferry — an icon.
AFP via Getty Images
staten island the musical
The cast of “Staten Island! The Musical.”
Courtesy of thisIZZit Production

The childhood friends saw a market for mainstream portrayals of Staten Island, so Izzo spun his and co-writer Sal Volpe’s inspiration to create the show.

“We found that in our everyday conversations we’d toe the line between members of ‘the forgotten borough’ and tried-and-true New Yorkers for all of our life, but never had any representation in media that appropriately portrayed that dichotomy — hence, the show was born,” added Volpe. 

The story focuses on the stories of a Staten Island ferry crew member, an aspiring actress desperately trying to move to Manhattan, a “woefully oblivious” city planner, a “nosy neighbor who’s overly possessive of her parking spot” — and, of course, Chuck, the dead groundhog. Musical tracks include “You’re in My Spot,” “We Could Use Another Bank” and “Walk the Mall.”

The popularity of their local run shows there’s at least interest among island residents, and now they’ll soon find out if Manhattanites, too, want to experience two hours of highly regional musical comedy.

Tickets cost $20 per adult and are available through The Tank’s website.




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