COHORT REPORT: Creative Musical Memoir

As an MRT Cohort, I enjoy meeting the actors when they arrive in the rehearsal hall and read the script together. For the Little Orphan Danny reading, it was not obvious to me how Dan Finnerty’s real life story, created with Sean Daniels, would become such an amazing play.

Little Orphan Danny takes us back to a time when family roles and responsibilities were defined by social mores and and religious tenants. A time when our behaviors did not always match what was expected. Dan Finnerty grew up as an adopted child filled with the usual wondering about his birth parents. As he goes from a ten year old boy to a man with his own child, we share early years of chubby boyhood pranks and needs in song and rap-like stories.

Dan is immensely talented in bringing us on the stage with him to share his autobiographical musical, a deeply irreverent take on the family we are given and the family we make. As Danny takes us on his journey to find his birth family we laugh, cry and reflect on our own families. Dan Finnerty is outrageous as he moves on, and off, the stage to tell us his story in words, song and rap-like story telling. He is filled with humor and quiet reverence about how to bring his past into his now, and when it happens he is obviously conflicted and confused.

Julie Foldesi shares the stage playing many roles in telling Danny’s story. She brings amazing character being his adopted and birth mothers, then his wife by merely changing a bit of her style. She is also a very talented performer with Dan and alone on the stage. There is an amazing combo of musicians on the stage providing sounds and original music that enhance the performances.

There are many people who work on a play that you never see, but their talent and creativity are essential. Along with the MRT staff, there is a very talented design team making music, lights and sound to brighten up a very creative set.

I have seen Dan Finnerty, the playwright, and Sean Daniels, the director bring this play from the script to the stage. I assure you this is an amazingly creative personal production done with humor, brought to life by a group of very talented artists.


–Gail Gauthier, Cohort



Little Orphan Danny runs March 21 – April 15