In the wonderful new musical, The Great American Mousical, the young theatre intern mouse Pippin sings a song called “What Do You Think of That?” in which he expresses his excitement and awe at finally being on Broadway, realizing his dream. The verse that begins “What do you think of that? Dreams really do come true!” resonates so with me. Click for a snippet of the song from a preview reading.

When I first learned that the book The Great American Mousical by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton was going to be produced as a stage musical, I yearned to travel to see it, but told myself it was totally out of the question. Then one morning, I awoke remembering how much my mother had loved Mousical, and decided that on the second anniversary of her death I would be in the audience at the Norma Terris Theatre… and I was.

As I sat in the theatre, watching Pippin’s joy light the stage as he exulted in being where he’d always dreamed of being, tears filled my eyes, and I thought, “Mum — dreams really do come true. I’m here. And it’s wonderful.”

Since this is a developmental production, critics are precluded from reviewing the play. I respect that, so will not be doing a review per se. I do want to urge anyone who possibly can, to see it. You will not be disappointed. It was well worth the trip for my chum, Jan, and me. In fact, we very much wish that we could see it again later in the run, since the director and creative team continue to tweak and adjust and try things out. It is very much a living, changing organism and it would be fascinating to watch the progression of the play. I so hope it will have a life beyond this run (which has been extended to December 9th — tickets are going quickly).

Besides the joy of seeing a well-loved story come to life before our eyes, we had the added delight of connecting with some wonderful people during intermission and after the two shows we attended. I so appreciated being able to spend time with them.

The previous day, we had visited the Goodspeed Opera House — the Norma Terris Theatre where Mousical is being staged is a satellite theatre of Goodspeed. We were delighted when we walked into the auditorium at the Norma Terris to see a beautifully rendered LEGO model of the Goodspeed. One of the young women who was working at the theatre in the afternoon offered to take our picture, and I’m grateful that she did, not only because it allowed us to let Erik see the Lego model, but it’s the only picture we have of the two of us together on this trip. (Note: Jan is seated in this photo. She is really taller than I.)

The joy didn’t end with the performances. The next day, Thursday, we took the ferry across to Long Island. We had lunch with author Kate McMullan, who led the middle grade novel class at the Stony Brook Southampton Children’s Literature Conference I attended in July. We had a wonderful visit with Kate, and I’ve added another great place to eat to my list. That afternoon, we met Emma Walton Hamilton for a quick cup of tea, and again had a delightful visit. After being with those two, my anticipation for next year’s conference is already building. Bring on July!

If you’re anywhere near Chester, Connecticut (and obviously, since I went there, my definition of ‘near’ is a loose one at best) I urge you to see The Great American Mousical. It is a delight.

 

The Great American Mousical, on now until December 9th. For Box Office information, click here.

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