I had a chance to interview a long-time friend last week. Nathan Tysen. I first met Nathan about 20 years ago when we were both in the Salina Community Theatre’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Nathan (a student at South High) was cast as Judas, one of the two leading roles in that show. I was Soldier Number 3. Whoever said “There are no small roles…” was obviously never cast as Soldier Number 3. I would daresay that any part where the Character doesn’t have a name, but a number is a small role—-other than most of the roles in “12 Angry Man”, but I digress.
Nathan’s talent and passion for theatre was obvious when he was still a teenager. Nonetheless, making a living as a performer is a tough thing to do because there are a lot of talented people out there and a lot of people who want that job. As he grew older he came to realize that his path was not going to be on the stage, but rather helping create material for people who would be performing. He became a lyricist.
This past April 26th (after many long years of dreaming, writing and working), Nathan achieved the ultimate goal of anybody seriously involved in theatre at any level. A musical, “Tuck Everlasting” opened on Broadway. Nathan wrote the lyrics for the songs in Tuck.
“Tuck Everlasting” began 28 preview shows on March 31st before it opened. After its opening on the Great White Way it played 39 regular performances before it closed this past Sunday after just over a month long run.
Like all of his friends and family, I would have liked to have seen Tuck become a hit and have a multi-year run. That didn’t happen, but Nathan (and everybody else involved in the production) did NOT fail.
In order to have a show close on Broadway, you first have to have a show open on Broadway—and that’s pretty good. Congratulations, my friend!