BEHIND THE SCENES OF A BROADWAY MUSICAL by Bill Powers

BEHIND THE SCENES OF A BROADWAY MUSICAL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The musical is Really Rosie--a proper choice for a kids' backstage book, though Powers doesn't much play to that audience. The sentences are short and simple but they are also flat, and there is no come-on appeal to the early background on Rosie's previous incarnations or the listings and posed photos of the adults (producers, press agent, director-choreographer) who got the show off the ground. We are also, of course, introduced to the cast of seven kids (plus one understudy), who range from seven- to eleven-years-old but already have a good deal of professional experience behind them. Powers shows the kids working out their numbers with director-choreographer Pat Birch, and he shows Pat scolding the kids when rehearsals aren't going well. We're also shown the stage manager at work, and we're exposed to the work that goes into lighting adjustments, building a set, coordinating costumes with lighting, and teaching songs to children who can't read music. There's a glum preview performance and then, in the second week of previews, ""it happens."" There's some tension on opening night with Rosie (Tisha Campbell) and her seven-year-old brother Jermaine, who plays Chicken Soup, caught in New Jersey traffic--but when the curtain rises: ""Tisha stood downcenter, spread her arms and began to sing, 'I'm really Rosie. . .' And she really was."" The book too comes to life at the end, and until then there is sufficient documentary interest for other stage-struck Rosies.

Pub Date: July 9th, 1982
Publisher: Crown