When I saw my first musical on Broadway, the raw talent on stage won me over. I’ve returned several times and have become a big local theater goer. This new book by Broadway veteran Jenna Gavigan lets readers take a peek at what goes on backstage through the eyes of a mouse.
Yes, LuLu is a talking mouse who lives in the famed Shubert Theater with her parents and annoying brothers. The only people who communicate with the family of rodents are theater people. They all know LuLu has a dream to somehow have her own debut on the Broadway stage despite the fact it’s quite impossible.
Unless readers already have a passion for theater or been in the audience for a few musicals, this is going to be a hard sell. With a much too clogged up beginning (be prepared of 30+ page chapter three) and numerous references to names and plays, I’m afraid very few ten year olds will connect.
But the story begins to take flight about a third of the way when Jayne arrives, an understudy for a young girl part. LuLu befriends her and together they try and deal with Amanda, a diva in training. Will Jayne ever get a chance to take the stage or will she be like the last understudy who spent most of her time backstage?
It turns into a sweet story and one with many eye opening reveals to life behind the curtain. Save this one for yourself then wait to pass it along to a child after they have attended their first professional musical. The ending will make you smile.
PUBLICATION DATE: October 9, 2018 PAGE COUNT: 288
THE OFFICIAL STORY BLURB (From AMAZON) Lulu is a little girl with a very big dream: she wants to be on Broadway. She wants it more than anything in the world. As it happens, she lives in Broadway’s Shubert Theatre; so achieving her dream shouldn’t be too tricky, right? Wrong. Because the thing about Lulu? She’s a little girl mouse.
When a human girl named Jayne joins the cast of the show at the Shubert as an understudy, Lulu becomes Jayne’s guide through the world of her theatre and its wonderfully kooky cast and crew. Together, Jayne and Lulu learn that sometimes dreams turn out differently than we imagined; sometimes they come with terms and conditions (aka the company mean girl, Amanda). But sometimes, just when we’ve given up all hope, bigger and better dreams than we’d ever thought could come true, do.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT:
LULU THE BROADWAY MOUSE by Jenna Gavigan
- Whenever I see performers take their final bow hand-in-hand, they always look like one big happy family. This story confirms my observation. Actresses and actors in a Broadway musical along with the staff that supports them truly are family.
- The depiction of theater life from Lulu’s perspective will have you saying more than once, “I didn’t know that!”
- Lulu follows up in the back of the book with her recommendations for a visit to New York. Better than most travel books I’ve read.
- Follow your dream and it might just come true.
- There are many life lessons planted between the overture and final bow. Perfect for middle grade kids with an eye on the preforming arts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jenna Gavigan, a fourth generation New Yorker, grew up dreaming of Broadway. At age sixteen she made her Broadway debut in Gypsy, opposite Bernadette Peters. Since then she’s appeared in a half-dozen films, on more than a dozen television shows, and on east and west coast stages, most recently Off-Broadway in the world premiere of Straight. Jenna graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Creative Writing, where she focused on fiction, television, and screenwriting. She lives in a teeny tiny Manhattan apartment with her husband, Kevin. This is her first novel.
I was given a copy of the book for my honest review.
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