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The Grimaldis combines a standard book musical with circus arts and  cabaret for an amazing night of immersive entertainment.
The Grimaldis combines a standard book musical with circus arts and cabaret for an amazing night of immersive entertainment.
229 backers pledged $19,644 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Story

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 Show

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.

The Goal 

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.

Project History 

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

Our Cast 

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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    *THANKS* Receive our heartfelt thanks for your support with your name proudly listed in the "donors" section of our website.

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    *PHOTO* Get a signed cast photo delivered electronically.

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    *PHOTO & PROGRAM* Get a cast photo and the official Grimaldis program, both signed and sent to you by mail!

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    *1 TICKET or AUDIO RECORDING*
    Get:

    your choice of one ticket to the world premiere of "The Grimaldis," a $75 value (food and drink included)

    OR

    a live audio recording of all the songs from this original production.

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    *TICKET & LIVE AUDIO RECORDING*
    You don't have to choose one or the other: you can get both!

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    Pledge $130 or more About $130

    *2 TICKETS or DVD*

    Get your choice of either two tickets to the world premiere of "The Grimaldis," a $150 value (food and drink included)

    OR

    a live DVD recording of this original production.

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    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    *3 TICKETS & CD & DVD*
    You will receive three tickets to our show and a complete set of both "The Grimaldis" DVD and CD.

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    Pledge $260 or more About $260

    *4 TICKETS & GIFT BAG*

    Get four tickets and a gift bag containing the photo, the poster, the CD, the DVD, and an exclusive COFFEE MUG given only to members of the cast and crew.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    *6 TICKETS & GIFT BAG & WRAP PARTY!*
    At this level, you will receive six tickets to our show, our gift bag, and a special invitation for two to our private wrap party so you and a friend can mingle with the cast and crew.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    *BE A PRODUCER*
    Donate $1,000 or more to our campaign and receive an "Associate Producer" credit on this production of "The Grimaldis." See your name proudly displayed on all promotional materials (e.g. posters, program, website). You will also receive many other perks, such as blocks of comp tickets to each show, VIP treatment at our wrap party, a special one-of-a-kind keepsake from the show, and more.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    *"PRESENTED BY..." SPONSORSHIP* Donate $5,000 or more and receive all of the benefits above, plus recognition at the show and in all ads and promotional materials for this Bay Area production of "The Grimaldis." This is an an excellent way for an organization or business to promote itself while being recognized for its contributions to the arts.

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Funding period

- (32 days)