By Joaquim Andrade
Maria Caruso has announced the creation of M-Train Production’s Outer-Burgh Tour, a series of FREE pop-up performances on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, inclusive of her first professional performance to date in her home county of Armstrong.
Caruso says, “I have truly been blessed beyond words in my career, and with every major milestone, it is critical that I give back to the community. It is time to bring Broadway to the Outer-Burgh.”
In the past 12 months, Caruso’s image has been plastered on billboards in New York’s Times Square promoting the 5-month run of her powerful solo show Metamorphosis. Quite possibly the first woman in history to star in two off-Broadway shows at two different theaters on the same night, Caruso has toured Metamorphosis around the world and following her Outer-Burgh tour will take the show to the iconic Lyric Theatre in London’s West End before heading into the studio to create a documentary film of the show directed by Michael Kelly, nephew of legendary dancer/actor Gene Kelly.
As if that isn’t enough to exhaust a mere mortal, during the span of one year, Caruso (41) gracefully balanced on her toes while managing her Bodiography family of companies in Pittsburgh (celebrating 20 years this season), her dance conservatory, leading La Roche University’s Performing Arts Department, and being a wife and mother to her five step-children. Living her life and growing her legacy with the tenants of Grace, Gratitude, and Love. It is no surprise that this impromptu tour was conceived from just that.
What began as a gift to Caruso’s mother spawned into a multifaceted gift to the broader community and especially to her hometown of Rural Valley, Pa. When Janie Caruso said she didn’t think she could make it to London’s West End to see her daughter perform, her daughter decided to bring the theater to her. What began as an informal showing of Metamorphosis in mom’s Silver Sneaker’s class at the Kittanning YMCA, grew into a two-week investment into the communities outside of the urban metropolis of Pittsburgh.
This little gift caused pause for reflection on the hundreds of social media notes of support from friends and family in her hometown, always saying that they only wished they could see her dance. In true M-Train style, a nickname for which she garnered for always moving light speed in the future of positive social change, quickly became a reality. A few phone calls were made and the theater lights went on in Armstrong County via the support of the school district leadership. The only pre-requisite for Caruso to perform was that every show on the tour, private or public, had to be FREE to everyone.
From Armstrong County she brought up the idea of an informal studio showing while planning to teach at a dance intensive at SheLor School of Dance in Butler County. Welcomed with open arms by owner, Lori Lewis, the idea again evolved into a larger open performance at the Butler Area Intermediate High School, through the support of the school district leadership, Jeffrey Kroner, Larry Stock, and Michael Beck.
Caruso’s tenacity and generosity has been seen all over the world through her gift of art and of self, and now she can extend that gift to the place she calls home. In her eyes, it seems that if you can’t make it to Broadway, the M-train will bring Broadway to YOU.
The Outer-Burgh Tour’s final performance of Maria Caruso’s Metamorphosis will be performed at 8pm on June 21, 2022, at Butler Area Intermediate School Auditorium, 551 Fairground Hill Rd, Butler, PA 16001. Tickets are FREE but reservations are required. Go to http://theater.metamorphosismac.com/cfclient.cfm to reserve yours.