The Great American Mousical
Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton
Illustrated by Tony Walton
Ages 8 to 12
HarperCollins, 2006, 0-06-057918-8
Far beneath the floor boards of the Sovereign Theatre in New York City there is another theatre, a miniature Sovereign Theatre which is the domain of a group of mice. In just a few days the mice who perform in this theatre will be putting on a show, “Broadway Airs: a Tribute to the Great American Mousical.” Of course, as is usual during a dress rehearsal, things are not going so well at the moment. The leading lady, Adelaide, is being temperamental, voices are being raised, people’s feelings are being hurt, and costumes are being ripped.
Things get decidedly worse the next day when the mice discover that the human theatre above their heads is going to be demolished very soon. They know that their own beloved mouse theatre will also end up being destroyed and that is just too dreadful a thing to contemplate. Then Adelaide gets caught in a humane mouse trap and is taken away. Will the mice be able to stage their show before the theatre is knocked down and will they be able to do it without Adelaide’s wonderful songs and dances?
The authors of this charming story not only tell a delightful yarn, but they also capture the high drama that actors and actresses know is part and parcel of the theatre experience. A diva throwing a hissy fit, a leading man who thinks a bit to highly of himself, an upcoming star who lives in the shadow of the diva, and a young stage hand who hopes to be a performer himself one day. They and many others are all here making the story entertaining and very true to theatre life.
At the back of the book the authors include a glossary of theatrical terms for readers who have not, as yet, caught the acting bug.
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