Flushing teen starring in Manhattan musical

Kahlea Hsu, 14 of Flushing, plays Jo in TADA! Youth Theater’s production of Sleepover from Nov. 16 through Dec. 2.
Photo courtesy of TADA! Youth Theater
By Carlotta Mohamed

A Flushing resident is starring in a new musical presented by TADA! Youth Theater from Nov. 16 through Dec. 2 in a riveting theatrical performance.

TADA! Youth Theater — located at 15 W. 28th St. in Manhattan — is a unique, Drama Desk award-winning, nonprofit youth theater that produces original musicals for family audiences.

Its new production, “Sleepover,” is a hilariously modern musical that tackles all the hairy situations in the glorious stage of young teen-hood. While Simone frets about not fitting in because she’s new to New York City and doesn’t know anyone at the party, Mia worries about whom to invite. As for the boys? They’re plotting a way to crash the party.

The musical includes Flushing resident Kahlea Hsu, 14, starring as Jo, with two other Queens youth — Lelia Davis, 13, portrays Jennifer, and Oscar Segarra, 15, plays Sam.

“Playing Jo brings out a different side of me. I am the opposite of my role on stage and that’s challenging,” said Hsu.

However, Hsu believes that she sees a bit of herself in every character in “Sleepover.”

“I can be insecure sometimes, like Simone. My character, Jo, can be nerdy, like me, because I care a lot about my grades. I also have leadership skills, like Mia,” said Hsu.

Hsu, a freshman at LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts, where she is a vocal major, said she loves this aspect of theater because she is able to display the many different facets of her personality.

“Being in theater brings out other sides of me that people wouldn’t normally see. It allows me to express myself,” said Hsu.

Along with performing in shows at TADA!, Hsu is looking forward to joining the chorus, and is potentially thinking of auditioning for the operas and musicals at her school.

According to Hsu, TADA! Has allowed her to break out of her shell and broaden her horizons in many ways.

“I’ve been able to expand my knowledge of theater and grow through it, along with learning new things,” said Hsu.

She describes being involved in TADA! as being part of a family.

“My friends are my favorite thing about TADA!,” said Hsu. “You always meet someone new and find new friends in every show, and we are all really close, like a family.”

Hsu is definitely interested in continuing in theater. She would love to be on Broadway or act in a TV show.

“Singing and acting are my favorite aspects of musical theater,” said Hsu.

Performances for “Sleepover” are Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Dec. 2 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

For tickets to “Sleepover,” visit www.tadatheater.com/shows/buy-tickets-3.

Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmohamed@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4526.

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