Dear Edwina is a musical by Zina Goldrich (music) and Marcy Heisler (book and lyrics). A children's one-hour musical, it concerns a young girl who gives her neighborhood friends and family advice through singing in a musical show. It is set in the town of Paw Paw, Michigan, although the setting is more like Deerfield, Illinois, where Marcy Heisler was born.
There is also a 'Dear Edwina Junior' which cuts the songs Seamus and RSVP, and adds the song "Paw Paw, Michigan".
The musical was written over a decade ago during a BMI Workshop. With no productions, it was finally licensed in 1998 to amateur groups, and has since been performed in schools.
In July 2006, the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, New York City, produced Dear Edwina as a special benefit for three performances, directed by Jen Bender and featuring Kate Wetherhead as Edwina.
Dear Edwina premiered Off-Broadway at the DR2 Theatre in New York City, opening November 14, 2008 through April 19, 2009. Directed by Timothy McDonald with choreography by Steven G. Kennedy, the cast features Janice Mays as Edwina.
This production received two 2009 Drama Desk Award nominations, for Outstanding Music (Zina Goldrich) and Outstanding Lyrics (Marcy Heisler).
A return engagement ran at the DR2 Theatre from December 11, 2009 to February 15, 2010. Directed by Timothy McDonald with choreography by Steven Kennedy, the cast featured Ephie Aardema as Edwina.
The musical played a third holiday season run at the DR2 Theatre from December 17, 2010 to February 25, 2011. Again directed by Timothy McDonald and with Steven G. Kennedy's choreography, this cast featured Counrtney Ann Sanderson as Edwina.
Thirteen-year-old Edwina Spoonapple has very talented siblings. But because of this, she thinks that she isn't special or talented. Yet Edwina has many talents including leadership, singing and advising, and she combines all of them by directing musicals out of her garage. The topic of these musicals is letters written to her by neighborhood kids who need advice. She gives them advice through songs and dances that she orchestrates with her friends. One of the main themes of Dear Edwina is Edwina's desire to be in the "Advice-a-palooza" festival because she feels it will prove that she is as talented as her siblings. This is all going on while Edwina's love interest, Scott, is trying to win her over. But, since Edwina is so concerned about her show, she doesn't care about Scott. Scott wins her heart by singing her a song as an impromptu performance on the show. The talent scout calls, and asks for Scott to perform at the festival, not Edwina. She is heartbroken when she runs into Katie Spoonapple, who has just run away from the Summer Math Olympics because she was getting made fun of by the other girls. She tells Katie not to listen to those kids, and to do what you love to do. Katie hugs her, and Edwina realizes that love is far more important than getting a prize.
- Edwina Spoonapple - A 13-year-old girl who wants proof of her accomplishments, just like her siblings.
- Becky - An enthusiastic cheerleader and friend of Edwina's.
- Scott - A neighbor of Edwina, Who is in love with her.
- Kelli - A ballerina and Edwina's neighbor. Wants to be the star of the show.
- Bobby - Edwina's friendly new next-door-neighbor.
- Lars, Billy, & Cordell - The Vanderplook triplets who live in Edwina's neighborhood.
- Annie - A Girl Scout & Edwina's friend. She also is in love with Lars.
- Vladimir - The scary, Dracula-like uncle of Edwina.
- Frank - A rude & sarcastic kid in Frankenguest.
- Lola - A shy girl from Peru visiting her cousin in Honolulu
- Harry - Lola's cousin & the reason she left Peru.
- Aphrodite - a young girl who writes to Edwina about her picky brother.
- Katie Spoonapple - Edwina's youngest sister, a math whiz.
- Myra Spoonapple - Edwina's older sister.
- Joe Spoonapple - Edwina's older brother.
- Forks, knives, spoons, & plates - dancers.
- Fairy Forkmother - singer in "Fork, knife, spoon."
- Chef Ludmilla - singer in "Fork, knife, spoon."
- Susie and the Napkins - a singing group.
- Carrie - a valley girl who needs help setting the table and writes to Edwina
- Abigail - Letter writer who has a gross brother and needs advice.
- Ziggy- A lover of reggae music who writes to Edwina.
- Mary Sue Betty Bob - Edwina's 15th cousin twice removed, comes to explain how to save money.
- Periwinkle - A young girl whose parents have bought a ski school in Sweden and doesn't know how to speak Swedish.
- Ann Van Buren - Talent scout from the Kalamazoo Advice-a-Palooza Festival
- Paw Paw Michigan (Dear Edwina Jr. only)
- Up on the Fridge
- Dear Edwina
- Aphrodite's song
- Say No Thank You
- Abigail's song
- Carrie's song
- Fork Knife Spoon
- Periwinkle's song
- Hola, Lola
- Seamus (Dear Edwina only)
- R.S.V.P. (Dear Edwina only)
- Ziggy's song
- Put It in the Piggy
- Sing Your Own Song
- Up on the Fridge (Reprise)
- Hola, Lola (Reprise) (Dear Edwina Jr. only)
- Suskin, Steven.Variety review, variety.com, November 18, 2008
- Dear Edwina www.rattlestick.org
- Fuge, Tristan.Dear Edwina cast and production team theatermania.com, October 30, 2008
- "Casting Complete for 'Dear Edwina' " Broadwayworld.com, November 4, 2009
- "'Dear Edwina' Will Play Holiday Engagement at the DR2 Theatre; Casting Announced" playbill.com, November 15, 2010
- Dear Edwina listing amazon.com, accessed February 22, 2009
- Suskin, Steven."Goldrich & Heisler's Dear Edwina, and Douglas J. Cohen's The Gig", playbill.com, January 18, 2009