This month, we chatted with Daniel Zaitchik, the writer of 2017 Festival Show Darling Grenadine to find out what work he’s been doing on the show since October and where the show’s going next. Darling Grenadine previously received a Production Grant from the National Fund for New Musicals for Goodspeed Musicals’ 2017 production.
The Festival led to some great new connections and conversations. We sent the materials out to various folks and the step that I felt made most sense for the show was a reading of a revised version at The Roundabout Underground.
Absolutely. While figuring out the 45-minute cut was a wee bit excruciating, it forced me to zoom in on what was indispensable in the storytelling. I’ve been working on rewrites since the Festival and it has been a little easier to kill some darlings. Also, having such a big, diverse audience allowed me to hear which moments and jokes were landing and which not so much.
Darling Grenadine is about to have a reading at The Roundabout Underground in New York City. Can you tell us a little bit about the program and what makes this a great next step for the show?
The Underground is Roundabout’s black box theatre where they focus on new work from emerging artists. It’s an exciting and nurturing place where they can take risks. Jill Rafson, the Director of New Play Development, had seen both the Goodspeed production of Darling Grenadine and the NAMT presentation. She was curious what I thought of rethinking the piece for a smaller space. This meant reducing the cast size and reconceiving some of the more fanciful theatrical devices. The idea intrigued me and was something I’d thought about before, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment with a more intimate version. Huzzah!
What do you hope is next for Darling Grenadine, and how can NAMT members who are interested in the show’s future development get involved now?
I’m eager to hear the smaller version at Roundabout this month and then make some decisions. So far (on paper) I’m really digging how trimming away some of the peripheral stuff is sharpening the main story. If I end up deciding on this direction, an added benefit is that I’d imagine it would make the show more producible in a wider range or spaces—and wouldn’t that be nice?
Why should everyone try to get on the guest list for the upcoming reading?
Well, hopefully it will be a great night and an opportunity to see how the show is developing. I’m thrilled to have Santino Fontana playing Harry, and Emily Walton returning as Louise—so there’s no shortage of striking talent. A limited number of tickets are available (the space only holds 62!).