Pest in Show: The Buzz of Broadway
Music and lyrics by Victoria Jamieson
Meet a picture book that’s a literal production! And, it has narrative to be sure; but it’s in the guise of a sort of Judy Garland/Gene Kelly, “Let’s put on a Show” themed storyline.
And what do all musicals have? Why, songs of course. And, as in all musicals, it has conflict before the show opens and drama both back stage and on stage.
And here, in Pest in Show, there’s sibling rivalry afoot from the footlights as Ladybug, a diva, if ever there was one, wants a solo star turn.
The “fly in her ointment” is literally her brother named, of course…Fly! Flies are known to be, well, pests, and the sibling known as Fly, in Pest in Show has honed his character to a fair thee well. It’s a role he was made for, and one his sister abhors!
Young readers may easily identify with either the much longed for solo role diva, or the younger one that’s always trying to literally get into the act here.
When you are the writer, producer, director AND star of your own vehicle, Ladybug naturally wants the full glare of the white hot spotlight on her alone; while Fly is anxious for a stage debut in sis’s production.
I can tell you there’s a lot of begging, bugging and wheedling on Fly’s part to well, get a part in this show of shows. He sees it as his breakout role.
Told to stay put, Fly is sticking like the veritable paper named after him. And by Act 2, when perspective hits such as “The Real Spiders” hummed to the “every kid knows it” tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” the one-ups-manship of these two insects kicks into high wire gear.
Act 3 sees Ladybug atop a cake singing a song named for her alone and has all the style of a Busby Berkley extravaganza with insects on each of the tiers of the cake. She’s the icing on the cake until…disaster ensues with Fly doing his own star turn on an empty hollow garbage drum he’s conveniently emptied on sis’s cake!
Super Fly is doing his own gig and drum solo to the tune of “Popeye the Sailor Man”
Can these two insects ever intersect in a show peacefully?
It takes a Finale with an all-bug dance-off. Victoria Jamieson shows young readers a shimmying, wing flapping, foot stomping, wiggling, squiggling competition between a host of jumping and jiving insects joining in with Ladybug and Fly to see who wins.
Does exhaustion ensue? Will they be booed off the stage?
Or are two bugs better than one with a star and her more than willing co-star, named Fly?
Roger Fleabert gave it a “Six Thumbs Up!”
And if you hear your kids singing the songs, why not teach them to do Chubby Checker’s “The Fly.” It’s a kick!
Here’s how to do it!
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