Matt Dengler as Fitzgerald
Matt Dengler as Fitzgerald
Kayla David

F. Scott Fitzgerald 1917 — or at least his spirit — will appear on a New York City stage this November alongside an all-male kickline when the musical The Underclassman opens. The show portrays Fitzgerald as a Princeton sophomore penning songs for the Triangle Club and pining after Ginevra King, the Chicago heiress considered the model for Daisy in The Great Gatsby. 

Written by the husband-and-wife duo Cara Reichel ’96 and Peter Mills ’95 and inspired by Fitzgerald’s first novel, This Side of Paradise, the musical depicts the author “finding his voice as a writer,” says Reichel, who founded Prospect Theater Company with Mills and three other Princetonians in 1998. The show is a reworked version of The Pursuit of Persephone, which the group staged in 2005. 

The 19 cast members of The Underclassman — including Billy Hepfinger ’10 in the role of Edmund Wilson 1916 — will spend their first day of rehearsals learning the locomotive to immerse themselves in Princeton traditions. The Underclassman opens Nov. 9 at the off-Broadway theater The Duke on 42nd Street. For more information, visit ProspectTheater.org.