Winner of three San Diego Critics Circle Awards including OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY!

The Loneliest Girl


  • World Premiere
    The Loneliest Girl in the World
    Book & Lyrics by Gordon Leary
    Music by Julia Meinwald
    Directed by Matt M. Morrow

    Production Sponsor: Rob Granat & Al Mazur

    Events Sponsor: Jay Henslee & Christian St. Croix

    May 24-June 24, 2018 // Opening June 2

    After the lauded World Premiere of The Boy Who Danced On Air, Diversionary is proud to produce the World Premiere of another groundbreaking new musical.

    Following the life and evolution of Anita Bryant and her biggest fan, Tommy, The Loneliest Girl in the World magically charts the emergence of the gay rights movement on urgently intimate terms. By turns delightful and provocative, this inspiring new musical is a reminder of a battle yet won, the purpose of pie, and the power of an individual voice.

    The Loneliest Girl in the World was featured in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals Fall 2016. Leary and Meinwald’s musicals have been seen at Ars Nova, The Director’s Company, Joe’s Pub, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Prospect Theater Company, Weston Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the York Theatre Company. Leary is the recipient of the 2009 Richard Rodgers Award.

    This production is generously supported in part by The Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s National Fund for New Musicals, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the California Institute for Contemporary Arts.


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  • Matt M. Morrow, Executive Artistic Director

    Matt M. Morrow, Executive Artistic Director

    The Loneliest Girl in The World takes on the iconic Anita Bryant in a way that humanizes her journey while parsing through the devastating effects of her actions. Simultaneously, we trace the gay rights movement through the coming of age of Tommy, a reluctant hero who whose passion for a D-List singer propels him center stage of a turning point in history. This sweet and tart new musical is a tribute to an era when our movement galvanized, and the courage of our community dared to infiltrate the mainstream.


  • Gordon Leary 2015 headshot websiteJulia_Meinwald_016 website

    Julia Meinwald and Gordon Leary write aggressively empathetic musical theatre. Their work includes THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (2016 NAMT Festival, 2015 UArts Polyphone Festival, 2014 Ars Nova OutLoud Series), PREGNANCY PACT (2012 Weston Playhouse premiere, 2011 NAMT Festival, 2011 Yale Institute), DISAPPEARED (2009 Lincoln Center Directors Lab), and the short film GALAXY COMICS (2014 United Airlines in-flight programming.) They are currently at work on REB + VoDKa + ME (2016 Civilians’ FINDINGS Series), THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016 Fresh Ground Pepper), and SOMETHING BLUE (2014 NYTB.) Together, they have participated in the Dramatists Guild Fellows Program, Ars Nova’s Uncharted, The Civilians’ R&D Group, Fresh Ground Pepper’s Playground Playgroup, and the Musical Theatre Factory writers group. Julia was a participant in the New Dramatists Composer Librettist Development Program, and her other musicals include ELEVATOR HEART (2016 New Studio @ NYU, Dixon Place) and JACK PERRY IS ALIVE AND DATING (2011 NYMF Next Link selection.) Gordon’s other musicals include ACROSS THE RIVER (2013 Seoul Musical Festival) and CHEER WARS (2015 York Theatre, 2009 Richard Rodgers Award.) Both are 2007 alumni of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

  • Steve Gouveia (Man 1)

    Steve was recently seen as  Stanley in Lamb’s Players production of Smoke On The Mountain, and as the Siren in Shockheaded Peter at Cygnet Theatre.  Other credits include:  Jersey Boys (Original Broadway Cast/First National Tour/La Jolla Playhouse), The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (La Jolla Playhouse), Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (The Apollo Theatre Center, Stage West), It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, Cabaret (San Diego REP), Mixtape (Lamb’s), Little Shop of Horrors, Hedwig & The Angry Inch, Pageant, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Cygnet Theatre), Sweeney Todd (The Fritz Theatre), and Hair (Starlight Theatre). As a musician, Steve has worked and played with Pete Townshend, Ray Manzarek of The Doors, John Wesley of Porcupine Tree, Micky Dolenz, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Jung-Ho Pak and many others. He has been seen on The Today Show, Late Night With David Letterman, The 60th Annual Tony Awards, and at many Rockers On Broadway concerts in New York. Love to Tricia.

    Sam Heldt (Tommy)

    Sam is thrilled to be making his Diversionary debut in this role, after participating in the development of this show for over 4 years. Based in New York, he has also developed new work with Playwrights Horizons, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Ars Nova, The Civilians, Colt Coeur, Sundance Theatre Institute, New Dramatists, New Georges, The Lark, Pipeline Theatre Company, and a whole host of acronyms (NAMT, NYMF, MTF, GMTWP, AND, MANY, MORE). Thanks to Gordon, Julia, and Matt, as well as Ben, Portia, and Michael. Proud member of AEA.

    Allison Spratt Pearce (Anita)

    Broadway & Off Bway credits: Curtains, Good Vibrations, Cry Baby, Enter Laughing, and Cabaret (National Tour). Highlight San Diego roles: SD Rep.: Susannah in Black Pearl Sings, Emily in Disgraced. Cygnet: Katherine in The Last Wife, Eliza in My Fair Lady, Louise in Gypsy -2017 Craig Noel Award Winner. SDMT: Maria in The Sound of Music, Judy in 9 to 5,  The Old Globe: Phoebe in As You Like It, Viola in Twelfth Night, Jane in Emma; La Jolla Playhouse: Janice in Come From Away, Victoria in Sideways. Many national/regional commercials & ads. M.F.A in Drama-USD/Old Globe, B.F.A. in MT- Elon University.  Thanks to the team that made this show happen and for my family that allows me to be apart of it.]

    Lauren King Thompson (Woman 2)

    Lauren is delighted to return to the Diversionary stage! Previous credits include: Divine Sister (Diversionary); How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1st & 2nd National Tours); Animal Crackers, Gypsy, Hay Fever, and The Vortex (Cygnet Theatre); Bachelorette (Backyard Renaissance Theatre); You Can’t Take It With You, Joseph…Dreamcoat, Guys and Dolls, The Music Man, Pete ‘n’ Keely and Festival of Christmas 2015-2017 (Lamb’s Players Theatre); To Kill A Mockingbird, The Miss Firecracker Contest (New Village Arts); First Date, Last Night in Town, and Joseph…Dreamcoat (SDMT); A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Musical (Intrepid Theatre); Oklahoma (Moonlight Stage Productions); and Stepping Out, Hairspray (Welk Resort Theatre). Lauren received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Cal State University, Fullerton.

    Shaun Tuazon-Martin (Man 2)

    Shaun is excited to return to the Diversionary stage where he was seen in, Dooley, and Diversionary Cabaret’s Altar Boyz. Other theatrical credits include: ​#Supershinysara (La Jolla Playhouse); Vietgone (San Diego Repertory Theatre); Buddy: The BUddy Holly Story (Intrepid Theatre Company/New Village Arts); West Side Story (Lamb’s Players Theatre); The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee (Intrepid Theatre Company); Rent (San Diego Musical Theatre); Zanna, Don’t! (San Diego Premiere); Deconstruction of a Drag Queen (Craig Noel Award Nomination, Circle Circle dot dot); In The Heights (Cabrillo Music Theatre); Dog Sees God (Breakthrough Workshop Theatre); as well as productions with The Old Globe, North Coast Repertory Theatre, ion theatre, and more. Shaun received his BA in Theatre Arts from SDSU and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. | @ShaunTwaz

    Marci Anne Wuebben (Woman 1)

    Marci was last seen on the Diversionary stage as Lucinda in The Mystery of Love and Sex and is thrilled to be back! She just completed the run of the original play Beachtown as Donna French at The San Diego Repertory Theatre. A veteran performer, favorite Regional Credits include: a five year stint as an original cast member of the long running 80’s hit, Mixtape (Lamb’s Players Theatre), Tessie Tura in Gypsy, Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music (Cygnet Theatre); Pump Boys and Dinettes, Boomers (Lamb’s Players Theatre); The Full Monty (San Diego Musical Theatre); The Magic Fire (KPBS Award), I Do! I Do!, Radio Gals (Moonlight Stage Productions); She Loves Me (Laguna Playhouse); Anything Goes, FootLoose (Welk Resort Theatre); Company (Performance Riverside); I Hate Hamlet ( The Broadway Theatre). Marci is an Associate Artist with Lambs Players Theatre and a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.

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