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"Why do they call them morning announcements?" twelve-year-old Mary-Kate Burke whispered to her twin sister. "They should be 'yawning' announcements!"
"Shh," Ashley said, pointing to the front of the auditorium. "Here comes the Head!"
Mrs. Pritchard, the headmistress of the White, Oak Academy for Girls, smiled as she walked onto the stage. "Good morning, girls!" she announced.
"Good morning, Mrs. Pritchard," Mary-Kate chanted with the other students.
The twins knew the drill at the White Oak Academy. It meant eating oatmeal each morning and sharing a bathroom with a dozen other girls. It also meant having the time of their lives!
"Hey, Mary-Kate?" Ashley whispered. "Who's the guy sitting on the stage? Behind Mrs. Pritchard?"
Mary-Kate noticed the man with the gray hair and mustache, too. He wore a navy blue blazer and tan pants. A maroon scarf was tied neatly around his neck.
"Probably the new physics teacher," Mary-Kate whispered back. "The last one just had a baby."
"We have a special announcement this morning," Mrs. Pritchard said, looking over her glasses at her notes. "It is time once again for the annual White Oak Academy First Form school musical. As you know, each year White Oak teams up with the Harrington School for Boys to put on a show!"
A show? Mary-Kate's sleepy eyes flew wide open. Ever since she had played Tiger Lily in their Chicago school's production of Peter Pan, acting had become her passion. Besides softball and basketball, of course!
"This Year the First Form musical will be Bye Bye Birdie," Mrs. Pritchardsaid. "And no, girls, it's not about anendangered species..."
Mrs. Pritchard paused so a few girls could laugh at her joke. Then she went on. "It's about a teenage girl who is picked to meet her favorite teen idol before he goes off to the army."
"What a cool show!" Ashley whispered to Mary-Kate. "Maybe I'll go for it, too."
Mary-Kate shot her sister a surprised glance. Ashley was great at ballet, cooking, and math. But when it came to singing, her sister could really clear a room!
"Ashley, this is a musical," Mary-Kate said. "You sing 'Happy Birthday' off-key!"
"But I dohave acting experience!" Ashley said. "Remember the second grade play, A Salute to the Solar System? I played Saturn!"
"And you spun around so fast you threw up!" Mary-Kate reminded her.
"That was five years ago!" Ashley smiled as she tugged at her silver butterfly necklace. "Besides, if I get a great part, I might score some extra points with Ross!"
Mary-Kate grinned. It was no secret that sparks were flying between Ashley and Ross Lambert, a First Form student at the Harrington School for Boys. Ross wasn't exactly Ashley's boyfriend yet, but the butterfly necklace he gave her for their birthday was a pretty good sign!
"Now, girls," Mrs. Pritchard said with a sigh. "I'll admit that previous productions have not always gone smoothly. The snow machine in The Sound of Music caused a dreadful blizzard, and the costumes from Cats left hairballs--but this year will be different!"
Mary-Kate watched as Mrs. Pritchard swept her arm in the direction of the mystery guest.
"I would like you all to meet this year's artist-in-residence," Mrs. Pritchard said. "Mr. Dale Boulderblatt!"
Mr. Boulderblatt stood up and bowed.
"Boulderblatt." Campbell giggled to Mary-Kate.
"Try saying that five times fast!"
"Mr. Boulderblatt is a theater director," Mrs. Pritchard said. "He has directed several Broadway shows."
A real Broadway director at White Oak? Mary-Kate sat up straight. No way!
Dale Boulderblatt cleared his throat as he took over the microphone. "I would just like to say how pleased I am to be here at the Green Oak Academy for Girls!"
"Excuse me, that's White Oak," Mrs. Pritchard corrected him politely. "The White Oak Academy for Girls."
"Yes, yes, of course," Mr. Boulderblatt said quickly. "And may I just say that, although we're a long way from the Broadway lights--we're just a few short weeks away from a Dale Boulderblatt theatrical production!"
Mrs. Pritchard encouraged the girls to applaud.
"I auditioned boys from the Harrington School yesterday," Mr. Boulderblatt said. "And since we are dealing with a tight schedule, your auditions will be held tomorrow afternoon."
"Tomorrow?" Mary-Kate gasped.
"You may sing a song of your choice," Mr. Boulderblatt went on. Then he rolled his eyes. "But please--no MTV!"
"Are there any questions for Mr. Boulderblatt before we go to breakfast?" Mrs. Pritchard asked the girls.
Mary-Kate's hand shot up. "What's the lead role in the play, Mr. Boulderblatt?" she asked.
"That would be Kim McAfee," Mr. Boulderblatt answered. "The starry-eyed teenager torn between her boyfriend, Hugo, and the hip-swiveling rock singer Conrad Birdie."
"And," Mrs. Pritchard said, "the student who plays Kim will have her own dressing room"
Excited whispers filled the auditorium.
"That's the part I'm going for!" Mary-Kate whispered to Campbell. "Kim!"
"I don't want to burst your bubble, Mary-Kate," Campbell said with a frown. "But you're going to have some stiff competition."
"What do you mean?" Mary-Kate asked.
"Two rows back is Valerie Metcalf," Campbell said. "Valerie played the lead in Cats last year. And she's done some cereal commercials where she lives in Los Angeles."
"Valerie is in my gym class," Mary-Kate said, surprised. "The teacher is always on her case for wearing platform sneakers. But I didn't know she could act."
Mary-Kate turned around and saw Valerie Metcalf coolly twisting her shiny black hair between her fingers. She was wearing a yellow cardigan with fake feathers and dark sunglasses--inside!
"I'm just warning you, Mary-Kate," Campbell said. "Valerie Metcalf is practically a star."
"Yeah," Mary-Kate joked. "But did she ever play Tiger Lily?"Two of a Kind 14: Bye-Bye Boyfriend. Copyright � by Mary-Kate & Ash Olsen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.