Malverne’s Tyson lands off-Broadway lead

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Jordan Tyson, a graduate of Malverne High School, has landed the lead role in the off-Broadway musical, Sweetee, which opens for previews on May 21 and will run through June 18.

The musical, which will be directed and choreographed by five-time Tony and Emmy Award nominee Patricia Birch, will be performed at the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center, located at 416 W. 42nd St.

“We just started rehearsals last Tuesday,” Tyson said last week. She is a sophomore at Marymount College in Manhattan where she's also a resident advisor.

Sweetee tells the journey of a young woman who is coming of age during the 1930’s depression-era South. After seeing her mother fall to drug addiction, she and others go on a journey through the southern states with the goal of landing in New Orleans and being part of its booming jazz and music scene. Her travels are marked with stories of betrayal, bigotry and poverty, along with spiritual triumph in the face of adversity.

Tyson said it was her chorus teacher at Malverne High School, Ken Zagare, who inspired her on the path to musical theatre. “He pushed me to do more musically because I was just so shy,” said Tyson. “I didn’t think that I had it in me, so he made me try out for the NYSSMA and all of a sudden I found out that I was good,” she added. Tyson said she had numerous musical accomplishments after that experience, traveling twice for all-state competitions and realizing her calling after her first lead in Malverne High School’s “Into the Heights” production when she was in 10th grade. “The show made me enjoy being there and hearing all the people say how much it changed them,” she said.

Tickets to Sweetee are available through ticketcentral.com or by calling the theatre’s box office at  (212) 279-4200. Performances are: Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m., Wednesdays at 2:30PM and 8:00PM, Thursdays at 8:00PM, Fridays at 8:00PM, Saturdays at 7:30PM and Sundays at 3:00PM. Special performance on May 21st at 7:30pm.