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London’s First Chance at the Mendham Township Middle School Play: Dear Edwina Jr. Coming in March 2012

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This afternoon, London and her Mendham Township Middle School classmates are meeting to learn about auditions for this year’s school play, Dear Edwina Jr.

According to Wikipedia, Dear Edwina is a musical by Zina Goldrich (music) and Marcy Heisler (book and lyrics). A children’s one-hour musical, it concerns a young girl who gives her neighborhood friends and family advice through singing in a musical show. It is set in the town of Paw Paw, Michigan, although the setting is more like Deerfield, Illinois, where Marcy Heisler was born. Dear Edwina premiered Off-Broadway at the DR2 Theatre in New York City, opening November 14, 2008 through April 19, 2009. Directed by Timothy McDonald with choreography by Steven G. Kennedy, the cast features Janice Mays as Edwina. This production received two 2009 Drama Desk Award nominations, for Outstanding Music (Zina Goldrich) and Outstanding Lyrics (Marcy Heisler). A return engagement ran at the DR2 Theatre from December 11, 2009 to February 15, 2010. Directed by Timothy McDonald with choreography by Steven Kennedy, the cast featured Ephie Aardema as Edwina. Dear Edwina had a third holiday season run at the DR2 Theatre from December 17, 2010 to February 25, 2011. Again directed by Timothy McDonald and with Steven G. Kennedy’s choreography, this cast featured Beth Cheryl Tarnow as Edwina.

13-year old Edwina Spoonapple has very talented siblings. But because of this, she thinks that she isn’t special or talented. Yet Edwina has many talents including leadership, singing and advising, and she combines all of them by directing musicals out of her garage. The topic of these musicals is letters written to her by neighborhood kids who need advice. She gives them advice through songs and dances that she orchestrates with her friends. One of the main themes of Dear Edwina is Edwina’s desire to be in the “Advice-a-palooza” festival because she feels it will prove that she is as talented as her siblings. This is all going on while Edwina’s love interest, Scott, is trying to win her over. But, since Edwina is so concerned about her show, she doesn’t care about Scott. Scott wins her heart by singing her a song as an impromptu performance on the show. The talent scout calls, and asks for Scott to perform at the festival, not Edwina. She is heartbroken when she runs into Katie Spoonapple, who has just run away from the Summer Math Olympics because she was getting made fun of by the other girls. She tells Katie not to listen to those kids, and to do what you love to do. Katie hugs her, and Edwina realizes that love is far more important than getting a prize.

As a fifth grader, London won’t likely have the starring role, but I wonder if she could win the part of Kelli, the ballerina??
The characters include:
Edwina Spoonapple - A 13-year-old girl who wants proof of her accomplishments, just like her siblings.
Becky - An enthusiastic cheerleader and friend of Edwina’s.
Scott - A neighbor of Edwina, is in love with her.
Kelli - A ballerina and Edwina’s neighbor.
Bobby - Edwina’s friendly new next-door-neighbor.
Lars, Billy and Cordell - The Vanderplook triplets who live in Edwina’s neighborhood.
Annie - A Girl Scout & Edwina’s friend.
Vladimir - The scary, Dracula-like uncle of Edwina.
Frank - A rude & sarcastic kid in Frankenguest.
Lola - A shy girl from Peru visiting her cousin in Honolulu
Harry - Lola’s cousin & the reason she left Peru.
Hephaestus - a young boy who writes to Edwina about his picky brother.
Katie Spoonapple - Edwina’s youngest sister, a math whiz.
Myra Sppoonapple - Edwina’s older sister.
Jo Spoonapple - Edwina’s older brother.
Forks, knives, spoons, & plates - dancers.
Fairy Forkmother- singer in “Fork, knife, spoon.”
Chef Ludmilla- singer in “Fork, knife, spoon.”
Susie and the Napkins-a singing group.
Abigail - Letter writer with a pressing problem about her brother’s etiquette.
Ziggy- A lover of reggae music who writes to Edwina.
Periwinkle- A young girl whose parents have bought a ski school in Sweden and doesn’t know how to speak Swedish.

In Dear Edwina Jr., the songs include:
Paw Paw Michigan
Up on the Fridge
Dear Edwina
Say No Thank You to You
Fork Knife Spoon
Hola, Lola
Put It in the Piggy
Sing Your Own Song
Up on the Fridge(reprise)

I will see if I can get the soundtrack from Amazon, so London can start preparing for auditions.

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