Great American Mousical

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Overview

Below the bright lights of Broadway, there sits a long-forgotten architect's model of the great Sovereign Theater. In this secret space, a troupe of theater mice busily rehearse their own show, "Broadway Airs." Suddenly, the Sovereign is threatened by demolition, and Adelaide, the leading lady mouse, disappears. Will the little theater survive? And will the star return in time for opening night?

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Overview

Below the bright lights of Broadway, there sits a long-forgotten architect's model of the great Sovereign Theater. In this secret space, a troupe of theater mice busily rehearse their own show, "Broadway Airs." Suddenly, the Sovereign is threatened by demolition, and Adelaide, the leading lady mouse, disappears. Will the little theater survive? And will the star return in time for opening night?

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  • Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton
    Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Far beneath the bright lights of Broadway, in the deepest recesses of the Sovereign, sits a long-forgotten and (if truth be told, slightly decrepit) architect's model of the theater. Unbeknownst to all the creatures who stride the stage above, this tiny replica has become the playhouse for a troupe of thespian mice. In the face of adversity more frightening than any mousetrap, the plucky little rodents pull off an opening-night coup. A "miniature" tribute to the theater from beloved actress Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton.
ALA Booklist
“The show-biz jokes are sure to keep young theater buffs rolling in the aisles.”
Publishers Weekly
Edwards and Hamilton (co-authors of Simeon's Gift) set their tale below a decrepit Broadway theater, where the architect's model of the building serves as the home of a professional troupe of mice actors. "On a night in late December, just after Christmas, when our tale begins, [a] little door was wide open," states the omniscient narrator. The narrative opens as the diminutive thespians rehearse for their New Year's Eve extravaganza. Suddenly plaster and shards of colored lenses rain down on the stage, and the mice soon spy a wrecking crane. Adding to the drama, the company's diva falls prey to a mousetrap, from which a construction worker frees her on the outskirts of Manhattan. A kind rural mouse plays a key role in escorting the leading lady back to the theater just in time for her grand finale. In a fitting, theatrical flourish, one of the Broadway mice finagles a way to lead the developer and his son to the tiny underground theater. When the man sees how exquisite the original venue was, he has a change of heart. Clearly written from an insider's perspective, the story brims with theater lingo, fittingly applied touches of melodrama ("The show must go on") and cleverly placed familiar lines ("Our revels now are ended"). The players here may be small in stature, but the story is big of heart and deserving of an enthusiastic round of applause. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 5-9. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
It figures that mice would hold theater productions in the basement of a Broadway theater! Okay, maybe this only happens in fiction, but how wonderful if it were true. In this story, such a troop exists, complete with the players you would expect: the character actor, the diva, the handsome lead, and the plethora of behind-the-scenes mice needed to run the show. Offstage drama—the sudden disappearance of Adelaide, the diva—puts the show in peril. Adelaide, thanks to her robust appetite, has been captured in a humane mousetrap. The young son of the theater's new owner hands the trap to a truck driver, who dumps it onto a snow bank in Brooklyn. Despite their grief at her loss, the cast agrees, "the show must go on." Hours outside the city, Adelaide is freezing—and facing her first obstacle in her journey back to the theater. She is saved from Scud, a thuggish rat, by Henry, a mousy professor who specializes in mouse lore. Henry (with other mice and unknowing humans) helps Adelaide to get on stage in time for her big number. The cast and audience go wild, as they had feared they would never see her again. A second story line involves Pippin, the junior assistant, helping to save the decayed theater from a wrecking ball poised ready to knock it to the ground. This tale bops along, never sagging. It is bolstered by Walton's delightful black-and-white illustrations, and a back glossary of theatrical terms. 2006, HarperCollins Children's Books, and Ages 9 to 12.
—Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Deep beneath the grand but dilapidated Sovereign on New York City's Broadway, in a perfect miniature of the theater, a group of mice are furiously rehearsing for their own musical, due to open the next night, New Year's Eve. However, the tempestuous leading lady, Adelaide, gets caught in a mousetrap, is abandoned outside the city, but with the help of a kindly stranger makes her way back in time for the performance. All's well that ends well, but readers may not stick it out to the happy finale. So many stock characters are introduced so quickly-only a few of whom are fleshed out even to the smallest degree-that it is impossible to care about the fate of any of them. A long list of the characters at the front and a glossary of theatrical terms in the back add nothing to children's appreciation of the magic of Broadway musicals.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This mother-and-daughter team has created an amusing spoof of the New York theater world through the device of a parallel theatrical community of mice existing in the basement under a famous old Broadway venue. The mouse troupe is rehearsing a New Year's Eve performance called Broadway Airs: A Tribute to the Great American Mousical, with songs and dances from favorite shows. The novel's large cast of mouse characters includes both actors and backstage pros, most with names from well-known musicals, but with over 30 characters, it's hard to keep all the players straight. When the star of the musical revue, Adelaide, is caught in a trap and transported to Brooklyn, the cast has to revamp the show, as Adelaide finds her way back to Broadway in a snowstorm with the help of a kindly mouse professor named Henry. The omniscient narrative style, sophisticated vocabulary and convoluted theatrical situations will be of interest mainly to good readers who are also budding thespians. A glossary of theatrical terms is included. (Illustrations not seen) (Fiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060579203
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/2/2007
  • Series: Julie Andrews Collection
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Andrews Edwards is one of the most recognized figures in the world of entertainment. She is perhaps best known for her performances in Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Princess Diaries. Ms. Edwards is the author of many favorite children's books, including Mandy and The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles.

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Read an Excerpt

The Great American Mousical


By Julie Edwards

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Julie Edwards
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060579188

Chapter One

Warm-Up

If you could stand upon a faraway star and look down at planet Earth on a cloudless evening, you might just notice a glowing pool of light . . . and chances are, that glow would be New York City. If you could leap from your star and fly down, down, down into the heart of that great metropolis, you would land in the most twinkling, sparkling place of all -- Times Square. And, if you walked down any street in that area, you would be in the center of the theater district -- Broadway, a place where magic happens every single night, and sometimes twice in a day.

The theater where our story takes place was once very special and quite exquisite, which is why it was named the Sovereign. If you entered the lobby and passed through the swinging doors into the chandeliered auditorium, you would feel a sense of wonder at all that had been contained therein: the thrilling music and dances, the words that expressed a thousand ideas, the costumes that rustled, the glowing lights that shone on the evocative scenery. . . . You would understand that many lives had been touched here throughout the years.

If you walked down one of the carpeted aisles, out from under the gilt-edged balcony, past the tiers of red velvet seats and theboxed sections on either side of them, you would see the orchestra pit ahead of you, the square of the proscenium, and the gently curving apron of the stage. If by chance your eyes glanced to the right, and if you were really paying attention, you would spot a very small and carefully camouflaged door in the baseboard of the beaded wainscot.

On a night in late December, just after Christmas, when our tale begins, this little door was wide open. Leaning against the frame was a portly mouse dressed in corduroy knickerbockers, a faded waistcoat, and spotted bow tie. The little hair that remained on his head was long and wispy, but in spite of his shabby appearance there was a charisma about him -- a certain grandeur, a slight pomposity, but the whole somehow compelling attention. His name was Harold. Behind him, peering around his considerable frame, was another mouse, Pippin -- a youngster, clad in jeans, a faded T-shirt, and a baseball cap turned backward on his head. Around his neck was a thin piece of ribbon, to which was attached a small flashlight.

Harold was saying, "The last night. I hate last nights . . . 'parting is such sweet sorrow.' But this show had a good long run."

Pippin watched the dancing, tapping feet of the human performers, their shoes sparkling with sequins and bows, the chiffon skirts of the ladies swirling as their male partners twirled them around. The heads of the members of the orchestra were bobbing in rhythm, their shoulders leaning into the task of bringing the final song to a rousing finish. The music swelled, the voices onstage rose to a high note, and with a whoosh! the magnificent red velvet curtain swung down, the chains weighting its hem chinking and thudding on the stage, billowing and creating such a breeze that Pippin had to cling tightly to the back of Harold's trousers so as not to be blown away.

The applause from the audience was thunderous and, as he always did, Pippin thrilled to this moment -- the music; the lights; the dry, warm smell of dust and makeup and paint -- and he thought himself the luckiest mouse in the world to be a small part of it all.

"What happens now, Harold -- now that this show has closed?" he asked. "What's coming in next?"

Harold rubbed his chin. "It's odd, but I haven't heard," he replied. "I've seen so many come and go, and usually someone tells me what the next production will be -- "

He was interrupted as an anxious, bespectacled young mouse dressed in black work clothes came skidding to a halt beside him.

"We've been looking for you everywhere!" he gasped breathlessly. "Enoch says you have to come right away! Adelaide is at it again. Rehearsals are at a standstill, and you're the only one who can calm her down. . . ."

The mice quickly closed the little pass door tightly behind them and scurried down a long, sloping corridor.

"Sorry, Fritz!" Pippin whispered as they followed Harold's ample frame.

"Really, Pippin! As an intern you should know you can't just run off to the human theater anytime you feel like it. We open in just a few days! We need all paws on deck!"

They rounded a sharp corner and continued on down, into the bowels of the theater, past the basement and the sub-basement, with its steaming pipes and electrical wires, and down again into the cavernous crawlspaces of the ancient building's very foundation. Nestled there, almost hidden between two towering pillars and long forgotten, was an exquisite miniature replica of the Sovereign Theater as it once was.

The actual building above had suffered many changes and many colors of paint. Windows had been blocked or boarded up, and its plaster was crumbling, but this little architect's model was pristine in appearance, albeit a trifle dusty -- white, and resplendent with gilt trim, curlicued moldings, pillars, and balconies on its elegant facade. Beneath the classic line of the roof, carved cherubs smiled down to welcome all who entered. Large, colorful posters either side of the grand entrance read:

Broadway Airs
A Tribute to the Great American Mousical
One Performance Only -- New Year's Eve!

Harold, Pippin, and Fritz hurried through the stage door.

Enoch, the stage manager, was pacing impatiently by the entrance to the wardrobe department. "Where have you two been!" he exclaimed. "Of all the times to disappear . . ."

"Sorry, sorry," Harold puffed. "Couldn't resist a peek at the closing night upstairs. Furthering Pippin's education, you know. Now what's up, dear boy?"

Enoch gestured helplessly toward the dressing room area. A colossal argument could be heard emanating from behind the door marked with a gold star.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Great American Mousical by Julie Edwards Copyright © 2006 by Julie Edwards. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2012

    I just couldn't put this book down! The Great American Mousical

    I just couldn't put this book down! The Great American Mousical is about a little theatre of mice and they are performing the musical of the century! Theres just one problem... the building is getting knocked down! As soon as the productions starts, the star of the sow gets captured and is taken far away from Broadway. Will Adelaide get back in time? Or will Wendy have to take her place? I recommend this book for any age. It is funny, heartwarming and it will make your heart leap with joy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 2, 2013

    In a hidden room in the Sovereign theater in New York City is a

    In a hidden room in the Sovereign theater in New York City is a model of that very theater in miniature! The mice that live in the theater use the model to have their own shows. Although the mini Sovereign is doing well, the human sized one is old, the paint is peeling and the walls are crumbling. What makes things worse is the human sized Sovereign is going to be DEMOLISHED, meaning that the mini Sovereign will be crushed too! If that isn’t bad enough, the star of the show is missing. The little troop of mice decide the show must go on!

    The story in this book is very cute. I like the idea of a mini theater hidden in the real-sized one. The mouse characters are really great. The sketchy illustrations throughout the book are very nice and add to the story. What is really nice about this book is that you get a nice story and it also teaches you about the theater. There is a glossary in the back of the book with theater terms and that helps a lot. The length and plot of the story makes it great for younger kids, but there are a lot of characters to keep straight (much like a real theater show) that may make it a bit confusing for some kids. I think it is a great book for any kid who is interested in plays or the theater.
    **NOTE I received this book as a gift from a friend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2007

    Mouse version of Highschool musical!

    You can feel the music and dances of the mice just like on TV!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2006

    Not just for kids!

    As a theater goer...I loved this book!! its a children's book yes, i know, but i read it for a class of mine and adored it. there are referances to classic plays and shakespear. The story plot is adorable and you really can see NYC in the discriptions!

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