Spirit of Broadway stages "Dani Girl"

Set designer Mike Billings of New York City sets up for "Dani Girl" at the Spirit of Broadway Theater.
Set designer Mike Billings of New York City sets up for "Dani Girl" at the Spirit of Broadway Theater. Tim Cook/The Day Buy Photo

The Spirit of Broadway Theater never settles for producing a show that's just safe. Their latest project is something different and daring. "Dani Girl" is a musical about a 9-year-old girl diagnosed with leukemia.

The dark musical comedy is an inspirational tale of how Dani embarks on a fantastical quest to regain her hair post-chemo. She believes the way to make that happen is to address the question: "Why is cancer?" She - along with her teddy bear, movie-obsessed hospital roommate and a shape-shifting guardian angel - try to find the answer.

Christopher Dimond and Michael Kooman have said they were inspired to write the piece by Dimond's cousin, a boy named Danny who battled cancer. They changed the character to a girl but maintained the idea of exploring what was going on in this child's mind.

Dimond wrote the lyrics and book, and Kooman composed the music, which has an upbeat pop sensibility.

The Spirit of Broadway production directed by Brett Bernardini features adults in the roles, with Anne Fowler as Dani and a supporting cast led by Erik Jonathan Schuler and Lara Morton.

- KRISTINA DORSEY

"Dani Girl," Spirit of Broadway Theater, 24 Chestnut St., Norwich; appropriate for middle-school students and older; opens Wed., Jan. 9, and runs through Feb. 10; 7 p.m. Wed. and Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri. and Sat., and 2 p.m. Sun.; $32; (860) 886-2378.

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