Unraveling: a new musical

The Story Behind Unraveling

Unraveling is an indie rock musical based on the memoirs of Rossella Lamendola, lead singer of China Doll.  This was the starting point for her daughter Roxanne, who uses her family’s real-life journey as inspiration for the story, interweaving their powerful songs with an honest and compelling plot.

The musical had its first reading in 2012 at the Broward Centre in Fort Lauderdale. In 2015 Roxanne crossed paths with Leah Fogo while working on Taken In Marriage. Both Leah and her long-term collaborator Scott Stait were brought onto the project to provide dramaturgy, additional music and lyrics and arrangements.

Since joining the team, Leah has worked closely with Roxanne and Scott in developing the work and has directed several workshops both in London and Florida.

Creative Team

China Doll ~ Music & Lyrics
Roxanne Lamendola ~ Book, Additional Music & Lyrics
Leah Fogo ~ Director, Additional Music & Lyrics
Scott Stait ~ Musical Director, Additional Music & Arrangements


After escaping their childhood home, siblings Ava, Tori and Michael struggle to move on with their lives. They seek refuge in their love of music, and their lives seem to take a turn for the better when Leslie, a band manager who sees the siblings as her last chance to make her mark in the industry, approaches them. With pressure mounting, the cracks begin to show. 

They seek solace in different places. Michael searches for a chemical fix, trying to placate his sisters and keep the family together. Tori flails wildly between men, desperate to hold on to someone, whilst pushing everyone away. Ava finds Bill. He’s different. He’s kind. He’s gentle. Ava has not let a man near her since she fled her father, but she trusts Bill and believes he can save her. Bill doesn’t believe that music is the way forward for Ava, wanting to give her a stable home, something to rely on.
But Tori sees a pattern forming. Is Bill a victim of circumstance? Or is his protective behaviour about to turn into the thing Ava fears the most? 

With tensions running high, and their cruel past tearing apart their present, Ava, Tori and Michael struggle to stay true to their music and to each other. 

Who Can I Be.mp3

Workshop recording. Clip from Act 1 featuring Erin Caldwell,
Tina Meehan & Oliver Jacobson, with Scott Stait on keys.


Stiles & Drew Composer Lab | June 2016

After taking part in the finals of the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Prize 2016at the Novello Theatre with vocalist Adam Small (pictured left) the team were invited to present the song "What I'm After" in an intimate workshop with George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. 

Director ~ Leah Fogo
Musical Director ~ Scott Stait

Ava ~ Erin Caldwell

Composer Lab Clip - George Stiles.mp3

Fort Lauderdale | May 2016

Workshop integrating new material, recordings and live performances from the cast, Roxanne and Rossella Lamendola.

Creative Direction ~ Roxanne Lamendola, Leah Fogo & Scott Stait

Ava ~ Mariah Busk
Tori ~ Jamie Mattocks
Michael ~ Oliver Jacobson
Bill ~ Patrick Jesse Watkins
Manager ~ Tina Meehan
Mother ~ Laura Sillett
Nick ~ Robert Smiley

Scenic Route Caberet | April 2016

Presentation of songs from the musical followed by discussion with Jason Carr and Chris Grady.

Director ~ Leah Fogo
Musical Director ~ Scott Stait

Ava ~ Nell Keene
Tori ~ Lily de la Haye
Michael ~ Patrick Sullivan

London | November 2015 & February 2016

Casual workshops concentrating on musical dramaturgy and acting through song.

Director ~ Leah Fogo
Musical Director ~ Scott Stait

Ava ~ Erin Caldwell
Tori ~ Tina Meehan
Michael ~ Oliver Jacobson
Bill ~ Jamie Ross
Manager ~ Aimee Horwich
Mother ~ Alex Critoph
Nick ~ Mikey Wooster

Fort Lauderdale | March 2012

A concert style reading at Broward Centre For The Performing Arts with musical accompaniment by the band itself.

Director ~ Alex M. Calle
Production Manager & Designer ~ Alyiece Moretto
Sound Design ~ Ryan Dougherty

Ava ~ Roxanne Lamendola
Tori ~ Jamie Mattocks
Michael ~ Dylan Block
Bill ~ Patrick Jesse Watkins
Mother & Manager ~ Olivia Williamson
Nick & Man ~ Rayner Garranchan