One of the highlights of my road trip to the Carolinas was a performance of “Zelda: An American Love Story,” a big, Broadway-style musical based on the life of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald and set in Asheville, N.C. The production was at the Flat Rock Playhouse near Asheville, where Zelda, diagnosed with what is now known as bipolar disorder, lived the last years of her life in a sanatorium and died in a hospital fire in 1948.
I enjoy seeing theatrical productions when I travel, and watching this play performed in the community where the story was set was a bonus. The lead actors were Broadway veterans — one was a Tony winner — with voices that could belt out the big songs.
I thought “Zelda” should have been Broadway bound. My friends and I were totally absorbed. Afterwards, I was surprised to learn that the play has been in development for seven years — an earlier version of the play was produced in 2005 and aimed at Broadway — but that it had not yet gotten close to the Great White Way. The “Zelda” team is still shooting for a Broadway production, and I hope the show makes it.
The moral of the story: Don’t limit yourself to Broadway shows, especially when you travel. It’s a great time to take a chance on regional theater. If you’re interested in “Zelda,” click here; the show runs through Oct. 28.