Inner Voices: Solo Musicals, 2008, commissioned and produced by Premieres, Paulette Haupt, artistic director, The Zipper Factory, NY, NY

Rough Cuts, Nautilus Music Theatre, Ben Krywosz directing, Minneapolis, MN

Spirit in the House Festival, Minneapolis, MN, and Minneapolis Fringe Festival, 2009, Ben Krywosz directing

Photo by Andrew Criss


"Woman Troubles, in a Handy Musical Variety Pack"

"As the young heroine of "Alice Unwrapped," Jennifer Damiano marches onstage clad in a boldly colored assemblage of odds and ends, as if she had piled on the entire contents of a thrift store. "This is not a suit," she announces, "it's an all-terrain vehicle for the body."

We soon learn the reason for this proud iconoclast's strange garb: Alice's father has disappeared while on duty in Iraq. Her mother has retreated to the bedroom in confusion and grief. Her younger sister, Ellie, implores her sister to take off the crazy outfit. But Alice stands firm, her lunatic attire a form of protection that wards off sympathy and mimics the armor she desperately hopes is keeping her father safe.

Ms. Giering's music cleverly expresses her heroine's determination and obsession, and the relationship between Alice and Ellie is drawn with lively humor. Ms. Damiano is terrific." —New York Times

"An invigorating evening of new mini-musicals from talented writers and performers.
"Alice Unwrapped," by Laura Harrington and Jenny Giering (authors of last fall's "Crossing Brooklyn" from the Transport Group)... starts out as one of those not-very-promising pieces about a mixed-up school kid who dresses in weird, camouflage clothing and alienates everyone around her. As the musical progresses, though, the character and her real-world problems become deeper and more involving, especially in interchanges with her 8-year-old sister. The surprise here is the performance by 16-year-old Jennifer Damiano (seen recently as the daughter in "Next to Normal"). Don't let her age fool you; this high school junior holds her own with veterans Clark and Walsh." —Variety