DATE: March 5, 2018
PR CONTACT: Jeanne Williams,
PR CONTACT PHONE: 978-654-7561
BOX OFFICE: 978-654-4678


A Moving Musical Memoir About Adoption, You Know Dan Finnerty From Appearances in the Hit Films The Hangover and Old School and as the Frontman of The Dan Band

World Premiere
March 21–April 15, 2018

Lowell, MA—Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) is proud to premiere Little Orphan Danny, a musical memoir written by and starring Dan Finnerty. This surprisingly touching and irreverently funny show is for everyone out there who has a mother. The show also features Julie Foldesi, a veteran Broadway actor who recently appeared in Sunday in the Park with George with Jake Gyllenhaal. The Music Director is Dan Lipton, who was recently the Associate Music Director for Sting’s The Last Ship on Broadway.

MRT has a history of presenting original one-person true musicals such as Little Orphan Danny, including The Lion (2015) and My-80-Year-Old Boyfriend (2017). This new work was written by and stars Dan Finnerty, who was a recurring comedy correspondent on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” fronts The Dan Band, and appeared in several cult classic films, The Hangover and Old School, as the inappropriate wedding singer. Here he tells about growing up a small town Catholic altar boy in a nice conservative family, which does not always suit our adopted protagonist. Childhood outbursts of blasphemy in church only lead to pathetic adolescent attempts at playing sports. But of the many lessons he’ll learn, none could prepare him for the fateful day he and his mother meet the woman who gave birth to him. This irreverent-yet-tender adoption story is about a boy—and the two women who made him.

The press performance is on Saturday, March 24 at 8:00 p.m. (Opening Night).

“After three years of developing the story and songs with Dan Finnerty and the superstars at  New York Stage and Film, I couldn’t be more excited to bring this piece to Lowell before it takes on the world,” said MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels, who also serves as Director and co-creator of the musical. “Dan’s story is a truly charming and deeply irreverent take on the family we are given and the family we make. People think they know Dan from the movies or from The Dan Band, but here he’s bravely sharing his true life story, but doing it with the same edge and laughter people have come to expect from him. That and our Music Director, Dan Lipton, was just the Music Director on Broadway’s The Last Ship, which was written by Sting—so we’re once again bringing the best in our industry to Lowell.”

Dan Finnerty added, “I met Sean Daniels after seeing The Lion in New York City and we decided to try to put a show together. I told him about 45 stories from my youth that I thought were hilarious and somewhere in the middle I briefly mentioned that I was adopted and had found my birth mother. ‘That’s all funny stuff,’ he said. ‘But go back to that part about finding your birth mother.’ And from there the show was born. Growing up as an adopted child, I always knew there was some secret about me. But what I didn't anticipate was that even more difficult than uncovering the secret, would be navigating what happens afterward. As a graduate of Emerson College in Boston, I’m really excited to be back in the area and debuting Little Orphan Danny at MRT here in Lowell!”

Little Orphan Danny was developed with the support of New York Stage and Film & Vassar’s Powerhouse Season Summer 2016 and 2017, and New York Stage and Film’s 2018 Winter Season.

Performances, Admission, and Location

The approximately 90-minute show will be performed without intermission. Performances are March 21–April 15, 2018. All performances will be held at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre located at 50 East Merrimack Street in historic downtown Lowell. Tickets range from $26 - $73 and are on sale now at or by calling 978-654-4678. A senior discount is offered for 10% off adult ticket prices. Student tickets are $15. Group discounts are available for groups of six or more by calling 978-654-7561. Press performances are on Saturday, March 24 at 8:00 p.m. (Opening Night) and on Sunday, March 25, at 2:00 p.m. More information:

Creative Team and Cast

For Little Orphan Danny, Book, Lyrics, and Music are by Dan Finnerty, Created by Dan Finnerty & Sean Daniels, Additional music by Dan Lipton, Directed by Sean Daniels.

The show stars Dan Finnerty (Danny). The band features Julie Foldesi (Band Member/Women), along with Dan Lipton (keyboards), Jeff Prescott (drums), Andrés Wilson (guitar).

The creative team also includes Michael Raiford (Scenic Designer), Jen Caprio (Costume Designer), Brian J. Lilienthal (Lighting Designer), Danny Erdberg (Sound Designer), and Seághan Mackay (Projection Designer).


DAN FINNERTY (Book, Music and Lyrics; Danny) is the frontman and creator of the comedy rock group The Dan Band. He is best known for his appearances as the inappropriate wedding singer in the films Old School, Starsky & Hutch, and The Hangover as well as his one hour comedy special “The Dan Band: I Am Woman” directed by McG and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Dan was an original member of the first American tour of STOMP and originated the role of Lonny in the world premiere of Rock of Ages in Los Angeles. He was a recurring comedy correspondent on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and can next be seen in the upcoming film Dumplin, directed by Anne Fletcher and starring Jennifer Aniston. Finnerty is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston.

JULIE FOLDESI (Band Member/Women) is an actress, singer, songwriter, musician, and writer. And she is now a big fan of Dan Finnerty. Broadway shows include: Sunday in the Park with George, Disney’s Newsies, Lincoln Center’s South Pacific, Little Women, and The Full Monty. Julie’s music is on iTunes. Her songs have been featured in webseries, musicals, movies, and have won many songwriting awards. She and her band can be heart playing around the northeaster.

DAN LIPTON (Music Director) conducted The Last Ship by Sting on Broadway and played keyboards on its original cast recording. He and David Rossmer are currently writing the score for Hasbro’s Broadway-bound musical Monopoly, with a book by Rick Elice. Rossmer & Lipton are also writing The Perfect Mate for Pittsburgh CLO. Their show Rated P for Parenthood ran off-Broadway and is licensed by Miracle or 2 Theatrical. Lipton wrote original music for the off-Broadway plays Hit the Wall (Barrow Street Theatre) and Prometheus Bound (Classic Stage Company). Music direction credits include: The Last Ship, The Coast of Utopia by Tom Stoppard (Lincoln Center Theater, Broadway), The Bridge Project directed by Sam Mendes (BAM, Old Vic), Little Fish (Second Stage Theatre, off-Broadway) and Herringbone starring BD Wong and directed by Roger Rees (La Jolla Playhouse). Lipton has arranged music and led bands for Kelli O’Hara, Brian d’Arcy James, Martha Plimpton, Judy Kuhn, and Audra McDonald, performing at the White House, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Great Performances,” “Live with Kelly Ripa,” “Today” and “Studio 360.” Orchestration credits include: Nobody Loves You (Second Stage), The Other Josh Cohen (Geva Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse) and Most Wanted (La Jolla Playhouse). Lipton co-produced Kelli O’Hara’s album Always and his playing can be heard on 3 Grammy-nominated albums: The Sunny Side of the Street by John Lithgow, and the original cast recordings of The Full Monty and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels by David Yazbek. He is a creator of the comedy variety show Don’t Quit Your Night Job and recently scored the film All These Small Moments, starring Molly Ringwald.  Representation: CAA.

Special Events

$5 NIGHT: March 21, 7:30 PM. Patrons may purchase tickets for $5, cash only, at the Box Office between 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Limit 2 tickets per person.
WINE DOWN FRIDAY: March 23, 8:00 PM. Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine with the cast and crew in the lobby following the 8:00 pm performance, as well as with the Western Avenue Studios Artists Association members whose work is currently on exhibit in the lobby.
ASK THE ARTISTS POST-SHOW DISCUSSION: March 22 and April 5, after the 7:30 pm show. Post-Show Discussions will provide an opportunity for the audience to hear directly from the actors and other artists who created the show.
LOWELL NIGHT: March 28, 7:30 PM. Lowell residents may purchase tickets for $10, cash only, at the box office from 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Proper ID required, limit 2 per person.
LADIES NIGHT: April 5, 6:00 pm. Gather your girlfriends, sisters, and mothers for a night out on the town that includes a dessert and wine reception from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Enjoy the 7:30 performance and stick around for Ask the Artists following the show. RSVP when buying tickets to this performance at
COOKIE MATINEE: April 11, 2:00 PM. Enjoy complimentary fresh-baked cookies and coffee from Brew’d Awakening in the lobby prior to the matinee performance.
EDUCATOR AND MILITARY DISCOUNT DAY: March 31, 4:00 PM. MRT will offers Educator and Military Discounts of 50% off tickets using the discount codes ED50 and MIL50. (Please show ID when picking up tickets.)


Little Orphan Danny has received support from production sponsor Lowell Five and media sponsor 92.5 The River. MRT’s 2017-18 Season Sponsor is Circle Health. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. The Cohort Club is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979 and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. MRT’s mission is to share theatrical stories of human understanding that reflect and engage our community.  A seven-show season runs from September through May in the intimate 279-seat Nancy L. Donahue Theatre. The company is known as a leader in producing new plays, especially world and regional premieres. MRT is one of 72 theatres nationwide (one of three in Massachusetts) with membership in LORT (the League of Resident Theatres).

Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678

Image Download

(Headshots available March 6, PR photos available March 13, production photos available March 22.)
1. Visit the Little Orphan Danny Photo Collection of Flickr
2. Select a photo from the Photo Stream or the Albums
3. Click on the thumbnail and let the image load in your browser on the Flickr site.
4. Click the download button and select “View All Sizes.”
5. Select the size you wish to download from the choices listed across the top of the image.
6. Click the "Download the ___ size of this photo..." link at the top. The image will download to your computer.
Press Resource Page:

MRT 2017-18 Season

The Royale by Marco Ramirez, Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian
September 13 – October 8, 2017
Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson, Directed by Sean Daniels
October 18 – November 12, 2017
A Christmas Carol Adapted by Tony Brown, Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian
November 29 – December 24, 2017
KNYUM, Created and performed by Vichet Chum, Directed by KJ Sanchez
January 10 – February 4, 2018
Lost Laughs: The Slapstick Tragedy of Fatty Arbuckle by Andy Bayiates and Aaron Muñoz, Directed by Nathan Keepers
February 14 – March 11, 2018
Little Orphan Danny Book, Lyrics & Music by Dan Finnerty, Created by Dan Finnerty & Sean Daniels, Additional music by Dan Lipton, Directed by Sean Daniels
March 21 – April 15, 2018
The Villains’ Supper Club by Lila Rose Kaplan, Directed by Sean Daniels
April 25 – May 20, 2018


MRT’s 2018-19 40th Anniversary Season of seven plays will be announced on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at 6:00 pm, at a free public event at the theatre at 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell. RSVP online at