Paradise Tossed

A new musical explores the tumultuous relationship between Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This Side of Paradise

History Theatre artistic director Ron Peluso was trolling the Internet looking for possible plays when he came across This Side of Paradise, a musical about F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. “I thought it had incredible potential,” he says. “I contacted the writers and, even though it had already had a run off-Broadway, we were on the same page about trying some new things. This production will have a slightly different point of view.”

The musical is set in the mental institution where Zelda spent the last eight years of her life. The story is told in flashbacks as she struggles to discover what went wrong in her relationship with Scott. Was she his downfall or his muse?

The book is by playwright and director Will Pomeranz and the score by Nancy Harrow, a jazz singer from the 1960s who has now turned to composition. “It’s not quite in a Broadway musical style,” Peluso says. “There is a hint of the 1920s, but mostly it’s in her own style, with an early ’60s jazz feel.”

April 20–May 19. History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul, 651-292-4323,