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Monday, August 2, 2010

Curtain Up! Written by Dirk McLean and illustrated by France Brassard. Tundra, 2010. $19.99 ages 6 and up

"Amaya loved to sing, she loved to dance, and she loved to act. This was the first time she had tried out for a big play - a musical. She wanted so much to be part of this story about a girl celebrating her birthday in a park."

No one ever said it would be easy! Amaya is wanting to audition for a role with a professional company and has no idea how much work is involved in every part of it. The prologue shows the audition process...crowding together to wait for a turn, sharing a monologue and a song, call backs for repeated readings and waiting again to hear who gets the coveted role. The first act shows Amaya's excitement over being chosen for a role, testament to the hard work done prior to the audition in singing and acting lessons. Rehearsals begin and Amaya gets to know the other actors and to read her parts with them. A break isn't really a break...there are measurements for costumes, models of the set to see, and scene blocking. Finally, the dances are introduced and must be learned.

On to Act 2...

We follow Amaya through her days as she gets ready for her performance. Anyone interested in theatre and being a part of it will find much to like about this book. It is a realistic peek at the many people, events and the endless preparation that ensure an enjoyable visit to the theatre for the rest of us. Butterflies come and then go...and Amaya is thrilled with the entire process. It only makes her eager for more! Encore!

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