About this project
For generations, the Grimaldi family has thrilled audiences the world over. From the opera houses of old Europe to America's silver screen, they were the quintessential showbiz family. Now the last surviving member of the Grimaldis is dead and the auction house of Sutter and Son is liquidating their estate.
As our show begins, we meet Walter Sutter, a friendly and somewhat awkward young man who is the block clerk for the auction house and the son in Sutter and Son. The auction business bores Walter and he dreams of a life in show business, a dream discouraged by his rather gruff and overly practical father Hirum Sutter.
When the ghosts of the Grimaldis start to haunt the auction house with their dazzling performances, Walter not only learns what it really means to be in show biz, but he also uncovers dark secrets about his own destiny.
The Grimaldis may be dead, but the show must go on.
The Grimaldis is a new story written by Dane Ballard and Ady Abbot and directed by Christian Utzman. The script celebrates the triumphs and tragedies of a life in show business from the eerie perspective of a family of performing ghosts.
Featuring original songs by John Woods, The Grimaldis is a mix of cabaret, circus, improv and musical theatre. The experience is immersive with the audience finding performances happening all around them. With the absence of the fourth wall, the characters interact directly with the guests, mingling with the audience throughout the show. Even the food and drink is presented as part of the story, a sort of “theatre amuse bouche” to pull the audience further into the experience.
We need $19,600 to cover the cost of a TWO WEEK Off-Off-Broadway run of "The Grimaldis" (Oct 19, 2012 to Nov 3, 2012). This sum includes theater rental; rehearsal space; the services of our creative team of artistic and musical directors, fourteen actors, and a four-person live band; costumes; props; lighting; sound; and set design.
The show will be recorded and we will use it to show the viability of the concept. The DVD of the debut run of "The Grimaldis" will be used to prove the concept - just like a TV pilot - and to allow us to market the show to investors.
The Grimaldis is the brainchild of Dane Ballard, who has been workshopping this concept since 2008. Born into a performance family, Dane has been involved in show business his whole life. Inspired by the colorful personalities in his life both onstage and off, Dane wrote this original story to bring all his favorite types of performance into one place and to explore what it means to choose a life in "Show Biz".
Dane wanted original music for this period piece that was as funny as it was poignant, so he joined forces with longtime friend and songwriter John Woods to craft the show's unique narrative and variety of songs.
Over the years, the story continued to evolve. In 2011, Dane met writer/performer Ady Abbot. Together Dane and Ady have rewritten the script into its new, full-scale musical production.
The Creative Team
The Grimaldis has come to represent not just four years of development, but several lifetimes worth of experience in show business brought together into one amazing project.
Dane Ballard - Writer, Producer
Ady Abbot - Writer
John Woods - Original Music and lyrics
Christian Utzman - Director
Randy Johnson - Music Director
Rachel Golden - Stage Manager
Kirsten E Gerding - Choreographer
Cory Couch - Set Designer
Elizabeth Jo Miller - Production Asstant
Brooke Fried - Production Assistant
Liz Courts - Illustrator
Chris Manners - Video Production
The show requires an incredible collection of performers with a stunningly diverse mix of skills and talents. We are proud to have some of the Bay Area's most talented performers participating in this production of The Grimaldis, including:
Glen Micheletti - Illusionist / Actor - as Lazarus Grimaldi
Kathryn Sullivan - Actor / Dancer - The Assistant
Katie Whitcraft - Singer / Dancer / Actor - as Rosalina Grimaldi
Theresa Christine - Singer / Dancer / Actor - As Babette Grimaldi
Tiffany Michael - Singer / Dancer / Actor - As Lois Grimaldi
Dane Ballard - Singer / Dancer / Actor - as Jack Grimaldi
Morgaine Rosenthal - Aerialist / Actor / Circus Arts - as Aerial Grimaldi
Ryan Webb - Aerialist / Actor / Circus Arts - as Azrael Grimaldi
Bryce Byerley - Actor - as Hiram Sutter
Ensemble / Chorus
Alexander Finis - Ghostly Scene Painter
Simone Olsen-Varela - Ghostly Seamstress (Understudy: Lois, Babette)
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