Pittsburgh's independent music source
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'East Carson Street': A Joe Grushecky musical


Pittsburgh rocker Joe Grushecky has had his music on a lot of stages over the years, but his songs will soon be heard in a new way: as part of a theater musical.

“There's a playwright from San Diego named Jon Rosenberg,” Grushecky relayed to WYEP recently, “and he fashioned a play using the inspiration of my songs, and the characters of my songs, and the storylines of my songs.”

The production is called "East Carson Street," named after his 2009 song and album. A total of 22 songs have been incorporated in the musical using tunes from Grushecky’s entire career, from the Iron City Houserockers to more recent solo songs.

“It's a story of a Pittsburgh family over the span of 30 years,” Grushecky said. “The family could be from anywhere, but it's set in Pittsburgh. Anybody who grew up here could relate to it. It goes from the steel mills crashing up to present day.”

The show’s website describes the musical as “a sweeping story spanning four decades and three generations of the Popovics, a family living in Pittsburgh.”

The musical, according to the website, “tells a compelling story that is truly one for ‘our times.’ Family, faith, community and courage.”

Joe says, “It’s got Junior’s Bar [from the song “Junior’s Bar”] and Julie [from “Junior’s Bar”], Jimmy was a rocker from “Pumping Iron” — you know, all the characters in my songs and a lot of the themes.”

WYEP will update this story when we get the official word on when and where the play will be staged.

Joey Spehar is a Pittsburgh native who started as a volunteer D.J. at WYEP, fresh out of college in 2006. He took on any job they’d let him do like editing audio, engineering remote broadcasts, and shoveling snow.