Many writers over the years have tried to capture the glamour, thrill, pressure, and drama of Broadway, but very few have done so as successfully as Daniel Zaitchik. When I first encountered Darling Grenadine, I knew it was something special—a love letter to both New York City and to the Broadway musical that sings their praises and exposes their pitfalls in equal measure. Though exciting, the theatre industry can be a challenging one to inhabit, and Darling Grenadine doesn’t shy away from that reality. Daniel has created a world that feels warm and inviting by building off recognizable tropes from classic movies and musicals and transporting them to the present day. Inspired by the backstage musical, a tradition of storytelling that focuses on what’s going on behind the scenes of a show, Darling Grenadine takes cues from the genre while also giving it a long overdue update.
In this musical, you will meet songwriter Harry, an affable, talented guy whose easygoing and uncomplicated façade may not be all that it seems. Harry has fallen in love with Louise, a chorus member in a Broadway musical revival, who sees the best in Harry despite what her gut is telling her. As their relationship progresses, Harry and Louise must confront personal flaws through the lens of their new partner, grappling with untapped potential, harmful childhood legacies, and fear of failure. Set against the backdrop of Manhattan with music that is at times bubbly and charming, and at times poignant and tragic, the story of Louise and Harry’s relationship is undeniably human.
It’s been more than a decade since I’ve had the pleasure of introducing a new musical through Roundabout Underground. The legacy that the Underground has established is one of my greatest points of pride. Over 10 plays from Underground alumni have been produced in our larger theatres, fulfilling the program’s mission to support artists beyond their New York debuts. Two of our shows in the Laura Pels Theatre this season, Scotland, PA by Adam Gwon and Michael Mitnick and …what the end will be by Jiréh Breon Holder, are commissions from Underground writers. That we can continue to produce projects by these artists is a direct result of the foundation that the Underground provides, and the commitment we make to Underground artists for the duration of their careers.
In addition to their work with Roundabout, many Underground writers—including Stephen Karam, Joshua Harmon, Steven Levenson, Lindsey Ferrentino, and Ming Peiffer—have gone on to work on Broadway and internationally. Daniel is a wonderful, deserving addition to this group of talented artists, and I am confident that you will be hearing much more from him in the years to come.
Thank you for joining us for Darling Grenadine and for supporting new musicals at Roundabout. As always, I welcome your feedback on the production, so please continue to email me at ArtisticOffice@roundabouttheatre.org with your reactions.
See you at the theatre!