John Coffey’s Streets of Hickory

Hickory Arts

Streets of Hickory opens Friday, March 16, 2007 from 8 pm at Hickory Community Theatre! It’s been an honor and a privilege working with John, again. Some of you may know that John first cast me opposite my wife at The Green Room in 1996 which ultimately led to our marriage and three kids! It’s all his fault! Carol Anne and I eventually wed on stage in the Charles E. Jeffers Theatre at HCT in 2000.

I want to personally dedicate my part in the show to James “Buzz” Atwood. Buzz is a father, a husband, an actor, a singer, a director, a teacher, a friend and a mentor. Buzz lobbied for me and helped “get me in circulation” succeeding college. One of my fondest experiences was as music director for Buzz and his production of “Little Shop of Horrors” at Foothills Performing Arts in 1995. I can’t say enough about Buzz and enough can’t be said. Buzz appeared in the original production of Streets of Hickory.

John Coffey’s Streets of Hickory was originally performed on the Hickory Community Theatre stage in 1987. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its debut, HCT and Coffey responded to overwhelming requests to bring the show back to the stage. It’s a period piece with a few added surprises.

The show features a new employee in a company orientation program. The musical explains unique Hickory phenomena such as its world-renowned street system, social politics and just “What is Hickory.” It’s a musical look at Hickory through the eyes of a newcomer to the “city.”

Coffey, who resides in New York City, worked with the touring company of Rent. Currently, he is touring with Marion J. Caffey’s “3 Mo’ Divas,” which is a theatrically staged concert in the tradition of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

Streets of Hickory features 20 musical numbers and a cast of 15. The incomparable Julia Rush reprises her role as herself! Others in the cast include Carmen Phaup, Chris Sepulveda, Joni Coppinger, Christa Shuford, Ty Shelton, Julie Huffman, Sarah Reidland, Zach Roe, John Rambo, Kevin Wilcox, Courtney Bissette, Ralph Mangum and Marny Taber.

Coffey, who was artist in residence in 1982-1983 with the United Arts Council of Catawba County, is in residence with HCT and the the UAC for a two-month period traveling to schools throughout the county to teach the children about music. Coffey is also working with HCT’s Youth Theatre Academy, writing a musical which will be performed one day only on March 24.

I am always in awe and discovery of John Coffey. I first wrote about John in May of 2000, following an incredible Green Room production of “Godspell” prior to his return to New York. My tribute to John remains posted on this website.

In other news, I will be splitting the bill with Jeremy Shaw at The Visulite in full armor on April 19 from 9 pm then unplugged with Billy Jones and Heidi Sidelinker at The Evening Muse on April 26 from 8 pm. Order your tickets now!

Please visit my profile on to hear and rate your favorite Jeff tunes!

“All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.” — Louis Armstrong

Streets of Hickory
A Musical Performed on the Jeffers Mainstage
Directed by John Coffey
Hickory Community Theatre
30 Third St. NW
Hickory, NC 28601

8:00 pm Fridays & Saturdays, March 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 & 31
7:30 pm Thursdays, March 22 & 29
2:30 pm Sunday, April 1
7:30 pm Tuesday & Wednesday, April 3 & 4 at Lenoir-Rhyne College

Tickets: $16 adults; $14 seniors/students; $7 ages 18 and younger. Thursday performances are $10 adults/seniors. March 22 is Ladies Night.

Thursday, 4/19/2007 The Visulite CHARLOTTE, NC from 9 pm
Appearing with Jeremy Shaw
1615 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28204

Tickets are $7

Thursday, 4/26/2007 The Evening Muse CHARLOTTE, NC from 8 pm
Appearing with Heidi Sidelinker and Billy Jones
3227 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205

Tickets are $5

Click here for more tour dates!

God bless you and thank you for supporting performing arts!

Jeff Hartman
Artistic Director
Hickory Arts
March 12, 2007

Home is where the art is.

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