PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release

Contact: Karen Gross, Publicist






Talkback with Christopher Dimond – following 2 p.m. July 19 preview

Benefit performance for Children’s National Health System with post-show talkback -2 p.m. August 3


July 10, 2014 – As part of their 5th and most ambitious season to date, Unexpected Stage Company—the fast-growing, Washington, D.C.-area professional theater company—will present Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond’s buzzed-about musical Dani Girl. This first full Washington, D.C.-area production will run from July 17 through August 10, 2014, at Randolph Road Theater, 4010 Randolph Road, Silver Spring, MD (the former Round House space).


Tickets are $16 to $25 for general admission; you can reserve by phone at 1-800-838-3006 and online at or purchase at the door subject to availability.


Dani Girl—a poignant and witty musical by Michael Kooman (music) and Christopher Dimond (book and lyrics)—was workshopped in 2008 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, as part of the New Visions/New Voices national festival. The show has since been staged around the world, with productions in Toronto, Dallas, Boston, and Australia.


Simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking, Dani Girl is an inspirational tale of life in the face of death, hope in the face of despair, and the indomitable power of the human imagination. When Dani, a precocious nine year old, loses her hair to leukemia, she embarks on a magical journey in order to get it back along with her fellow hospital patient Marty and an imaginary friend named Raph. Dani Girl’s Broadway-meets-pop/rock tunes—such as “In the Game of Life,” “My Hair,” “Why I Love the Movies”—are peppered with pop culture references and quirky, dark humor.


Kooman and Dimond’s stars are continuing to rise. In February 2014, their world premiere Kennedy Center commission Orphie and the Book of Heroes was declared “an epic success” by The Washington Post. They received the 2010 Jonathan Larson Grant and are the first recipients of the Lorenz Hart Award.


Please note the following special events:


The preview performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 19 will be followed by a talkbalk with Dani Girl’s award-winning co-composer Christopher Dimond (book and lyrics), joined by the show’s director Christopher Goodrich and musical director Laura Brady.


On August 3 at 2 p.m., Unexpected Stage will hold a special performance of Dani Girl benefitting Children’s National Health System. Half of all ticket sales for that particular matinee performance will be donated to Children’s National. Audience members are also invited to stay after the show for a talkback with the director, actors, and other members of the artistic team. Children’s National in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Home to Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. With 303 beds, more than 1,330 nurses, 550 physicians, and seven regional outpatient centers, Children’s National is the only exclusive provider of pediatric care in the Washington metropolitan area. For more information, please visit


In addition to being the region’s first full production of Dani Girl, the show marks the first musical for Unexpected Stage Company—known for staging thought-provoking works such as last year’s critically acclaimed production of Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van and, in 2011, David Johnston’s Candy and Dorothy. Both shows were Helen Hayes recommended.


Said Michael Kooman, speaking on behalf of the songwriting team, “Chris and I are excited to see Dani Girl produced in the vibrant theater community in the Washington, DC area, and we’re thrilled that Unexpected Stage is the first theater to stage the show in this region. We can’t wait to see how they interpret our musical.”


According to Dani Girl director Christopher Goodrich, who serves as Unexpected Stage Company’s co-artistic director with wife, Rachel Stroud-Goodrich, “Once again, Unexpected Stage is turning to the intricate beauty of a very human story. But this show marks a departure from past seasons. We are exploring similar themes—courage, mortality, passion, interconnection—but this time through the eyes of a child. We are presented here with someone on the threshold, between worlds, where life is most interesting.”


Starring in the lead role of Dani is Caroline Wolfson, who has been seen by area theater audiences in productions by Keegan Theatre (Hair), Imagination Stage (Lyle the Crocodile), Scena Theatre (Salome), and Washington Savoyards (The Rocky Horror Show). Rounding out the cast are talented actors seen in productions nationwide: Joshua Simon (Raph), Zach Brewster-Geisz (Marty) and Maggie Robertson (Mother).


In the key role of musical director is Laura Brady, who has worked at Annapolis Summer Garden Theater, BRAVO, and Children’s Theater of Annapolis, and conducted the Napa Valley Youth Symphony. The show will feature a three-piece band, with piano, cello and drums all onstage with the actors. The crew also includes Elliot Lanes (Sound Designer), Kristen Jepperson (Set design/construction), Zeke Dowty (Lighting Designer) and Emma Duncan (Costume Designer).


After Dani Girl, Unexpected Stage Company will continue its season by presenting the Washington, DC premiere of Danny Boy from October 16 to 26. Playwright Marc Goldsmith’s clever, heartfelt comedy earned an Audience Favorite Award (and enjoyed a sold-out run) at the New York International Fringe Festival. The show was described as “smart, funny and touching” by and noted by The New York Times as one of the “Shows That Are Making Noise Amid the Crowd.” Christopher Goodrich directed this award-winning New York International Fringe Festival production and is thrilled to bring the show to his hometown area. Danny Boy will be staged at Randolph Road Theater, 4010 Randolph Road, Silver Spring, MD.


Season subscriptions are now available. To purchase, please call 1-800-838-3006 or visit




Celebrating its fifth season in 2014, Unexpected Stage Company is a professional regional theater company founded by the husband-and-wife team of Christopher Goodrich and Rachel Stroud-Goodrich. The company dedicates itself to honoring the intricacies and intimacies of the complete human experience and, to that end, seeks to unite people, place and storytelling in order to explore interconnection. Visit and


Dani Girl is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.


Unexpected Stage Company is funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.


Unexpected Stage gratefully acknowledges The Center for Organizational Excellence for its generous support.


FOR HI-RES PHOTOS, please contact or 215-290-6903.

Robert Sheire and Jean Miller in CANDY AND DOROTHY
Robert Sheire and Jean Miller in Unexpected Stage’s production of CANDY AND DOROTHY, by David Johnston









“Unexpected Stage Company, led by Chris Goodrich and Rachel Stroud-Goodrich, is a welcome addition to Montgomery County’s arts scene.”The Gazette

“Presented by the aptly named Unexpected Stage Company, ‘Candy and Dorothy’ features a strong cast… in service of an equally strong and compelling script.” Metro Weekly

“I haven’t had this much fun in the theatre in a long time, so kudos to the cast and director Christopher Goodrich for their very funny and poignant production of ‘Candy and Dorothy.’”Maryland Theatre Guide

2014 Press for Unexpected Stage:

The New York Times (Women’s Voice Theatre Festival)

DC Metro Theater Arts (Especially Unexpected: IMPROV FEST)

2013 Press for Unexpected Stage:

The Gazette

Montgomery Magazine

DC Metro Theatre Arts

WAMU Art Beat

Washington City Paper

DC Theatre Scene

Maryland Theatre Guide

Gazette (Monologue Fest)

Gazette (Wake for Jacob Marley)

2012 Press for Unexpected Stage’s production of The Dumb Waiter and Trifles:

The Washington Post

The Gazette

DC Theatre Scene “Highly Recommended”

DC Metro Theatre Arts Review

DC Metro Theatre Arts Feature

Art Beat

2012 Press for Unexpected Stage’s Monologue Fest:

The Gazette

Art Beat

DC Theatre Scene

Other Press:
MD Theatre Guide

The Gazette 

Montgomery Village News

Metro Weekly Spotlight

Metro Weekly

Washington Examiner


Rockville Patch

The Blade

Montgomery Village News (p32), 2010

The Gazette, 2010

Press Releases:

New Theatre Company Unexpected Stage Launches in Gaithersburg


Candy and Dorothy makes D.C.-area premiere


Unexpected Stage Co. presents MONOLOGUE FEST on March 26


Press Release Unexpected Stage Presents Pinter Glaspell Plays


Press Release: Get in the Holiday Spirit at “A Wake for Jacob Marley: An Unexpected Fundraiser”