Danielle Sadd is a rare breed of entertainer in Los Angeles: a native, who can sing a soulful rendition of “The Sister Act” opening and crack killer jokes about falling in love with guys named Taylor at Starbucks.
She’s so local that when you arrive to her energetic comedy cabaret, “Stumbling Along,” her mom, Suzi, holds two bottles of wine behind the bar and asks, “Which do you want, red or white?” Her dad, John L. Sadd, is in the back, loading her equipment on stage.
Sadd’s show is one of hundreds in Hollywood’s Fringe Fest, an ongoing community performing arts festival held each June.
“It takes place in a one-mile radius and you have to pick a venue and build a relationship with the venue,” says Sadd, a Glendale native who performs 14 songs, strung together by a series of stories about her creative journey.
“I got my first solo in first grade choir and I was addicted,” says Sadd, who continued singing and performing music at Glenoaks Elementary and later Wilson Middle School. When she was a student at Clark Magnet in La Crescenta, her cousin Paul Ayoob mentioned that his all-boys’ school, St. Francis, was inviting girls to audition for the first time.
“I was one of the few girls that was allowed to be in a play at an all-boys’ school. I had the bug after that so I went to school for musical theatre in L.A. and New York,” says Sadd, who earned her Bacehlor of Fine Arts from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
After touring the U.S. in “Winnie the Pooh: The Musical,” singing in a variety of other concerts and making guest appearances at the Comedy Store, the Ice House and Flappers, she’s back in her hometown for Fringe Fest.
“When you think of theater you think of New York and this is such a cool way for L.A. to see that we theater people have a voice here, too,” says Sadd, whose show is now in its sixth run and original songs with Motown and Adele covers, among other sassy surprises.
The self-described “millennial performer” enlists the help of longtime friends and fellow performers Marie Clare Halpin, Julie Carillo, musical director Jeff Rizzo and percussionist Johnny Ashkar. Elizabeth Ayoob, Sadd’s cousin, works as associate producer for the show.
“I talk about different experiences I’ve had, different characters I’ve encountered and what drove me to do this in the first place. I talk about being single for a little, hot second. I’m just trying to find a husband,” Sadd says, laughing.
That’s her fear of missing out, known as FOMO, speaking. It inspires her frank material and finale song “Stumbling Along,” she explains.
“I think we all have that fear of missing out, that FOMO, and I look on Facebook and I see that it seems that everyone is on the express track, getting married, having babies. But I’m not on the express track. I’m on the way to getting there and I’m stumbling along. That’s entertaining and fun,” Sadd says.
What: “Stumbling Along” in Hollywood Fringe Fest
Where: The East Theatre, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
When: Thursday, June 19 at 9:45 p.m.; Monday, June 23, 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 28, 10:45 p.m.
Follow Nicole Charky on Twitter: @NicoleCharky.