Review Fix Exclusive: Inside ‘Dandelion: An Original Musical’

Review Fix chats with “Dandelion: An Original Musical” playwright Jessica Francis Fichter, who lets us know all about the show and why it’s a special one for her.

About Dandelion: An Original Musical”:

FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW, Broadway’s Supper Club, presents “Dandelion: An Original Musical” live in concert on August 14th, 2019 at 9:30 PM. “Dandelion” is the story of high school senior Jane and her mother Delilah, and how the two are forced to confront profound questions of guilt, responsibility, and sacrifice as Jane must decide between attending college in pursuit of her lifelong dreams, or staying home to care for Delilah- who is locked in a desperate battle with severe mental illness and opioid addiction. Fresh off its second developmental reading with Ensemble-Atria in NYC, “Dandelion” promises to bring laughter and tears in this new musical of hope, grief, female power, and the promise of new possibility. For more information, please visit www.dandelionmusical.com

Female-driven, emotional, and original, “Dandelion” features music and lyrics by Colleen Francis (NSAI finalist) and Bill Zeffiro (MAC award winner), book by Jessica Francis Fichter (Eleventh Hour, Shadows: A Dance Musical) and Sean Riehm (Salem High), and has been developed in collaboration with Hailee Beltzhoover (Salem High). “Dandelion” at Feinstein’s/54 Below will be directed by Jessica Francis Fichter with Musical Direction by Nevada Lozano, featuring performances by Hailee Beltzhoover, Lillie Ricciardi, Allison Siko, Brenden MacDonald, Brianne Wylie, and Miranda Luze.  Special performances will be announced soon! 

“Dandelion: An Original Musical” live in concert plays Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on August 14th, 2019 at 9:30 PM.  There is a $35 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551.

MORE ABOUT FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW:

Feinstein’s/54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club & Private Event Destination, is a performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. A few blocks from the heart of Times Square and just below the legendary Studio 54, Feinstein’s/54 Below is a classically designed state-of-the art nightclub in the theatre district that hosts audiences with warmth and style. Feinstein’s/54 Below presents iconic and rising stars from the worlds of Broadway and popular music and has set a new standard for culinary excellence worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage. 

In their description of the venue, The New York Timeswrites, “Feinstein’s/54 Below has the intimacy of a large living room with unimpeded views and impeccable sound; there is not a bad seat in the house. Its sultry after-hours ambience is enhanced by brocade-patterned wall panels planted with orange-shaded lanterns. And the atmosphere is warmer and sexier than in Manhattan’s other major supper clubs.” 

Located at 254 West 54th Street, Feinstein’s/54 Below features up to three shows nightly with cover charges ranging from $5-$105. 54Below.com/Feinsteins

Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this project?

Jessica Francis Fichter: This musical is based on several personal experiences with managing mental health of loved ones combined with the true life struggle of a close friend and her decision to leave for college despite her mother’s mental illness and drug addiction. The story is more about finding yourself in the midst of a chaotic family situation, and asking the tough questions of personal responsibility versus familial.  Dandelion asks the complicated question of the difference between selfishness and self-care.  This universal question cannot be answered in 2 hours but it certainly worth exploring.  I’m sure not every person will agree with Jane’s decision, but maybe that is the point.

Review Fix: What’s your creative process like? 

Fichter: Working with my sister who is a singer/songwriter in Dallas has been challenging, involving many trips back and forth and late night conversations but it has also been extremely fun to share our creative talents with each other.  We are excited to finally have actors in the room, because each individual brings their own perspective and thoughts to the piece and nothing can replace the creative energy of a room full of excited actors collaborating on your work!

Review Fix: What makes this different or special from other musical events of this genre?

Fichter: The music does not sound like other musicals out there right now.  It has a singer/songwriter pop/country vibe that is unique and appealing to both young and mature audiences.  The story is also female, in every sense of the word, and that is important right now.  As a society, the narrative is shifting in terms of how we perceive women and that needs to be present in the female teenage stories we are telling.

Review Fix: What did you learn/are learning about yourself through this process?

Fichter: Oh my gosh, what haven’t I learned? I think more than anything, we, as a creative team, have learned how to activate the determination that lives in all of us.  It takes a great deal of time and commitment to write a musical and to revise and revise and revise- but we believe in what we are doing so we have all come together to make it happen!

Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this for the future?

Fichter: We are taking it one step at a time, right now we are hoping to move to a workshop and then a fully realized production!

Review Fix: What’s next?

Fichter: Feinstein’s/54 Below on August 14th at 9:30 is our next stop before continuing submissions to regional and off-broadway companies!

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 8898 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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