Making Books Sing (MBS), the critically acclaimed New York-based nonprofit that promotes children's literacy and social development through professional Theater Productions and arts-in-education programs, presents its second and final production of the 2012-2013 season WANDA'S MONSTER The Musical, with music & lyrics by kindie rock sensation Laurie Berkner ("The Laurie Berkner Band") and book by Barbara Zinn Krieger (THE BUTTERFLY), based on Eileen Spinelli's book "Wanda's Monster," from April 19 through May 12 at the company's new Off-Broadway home - Theater 3 (311 West 43rd Street) in Manhattan. Official press opening for WANDA'S MONSTER The Musical is set for April 21st.
WANDA'S MONSTER The Musical is Making Books Sing's latest full-scale musical based on a children's book. Wanda, a spunky 5 year old with a vivid imagination, is convinced there's a monster in her closet. Granny agrees, and contrary to Wanda's expectations, convinces Wanda that "Monster" is in her closet because he is shy and friendless, not because he's scary. With Granny's encouragement, Wanda befriends "Monster," thus turning a potentially fearful situation into a lesson in acceptance and friendship.
WANDA'S MONSTER The Musical marks the first collaboration between Making Books Sing and Laurie Berkner, the popular children's singer/songwriter. WANDA'S MONSTER The Musical will include a score of new songs by Ms. Berkner, as well as one of her all-time hits, "Monster Boogie." An original cast recording is in the works, with details TBA.
WANDA'S MONSTER The Musical will be directed by Adrienne Kapstein (War Horse Associate Movement Director). The design team from Making Books Sing's acclaimed production of Louis Armstrong: JAZZ AMBASSADOR will return for WANDA'S MONSTER The Musical: Drew Francis (set), Leslie Bernstein (costumes), Ariel Benjamin (lights) and Charles Coes (sound).
Award-winning children's recording artist Laurie Berkner is the widely recognized as a groundbreaker in the progressive children's music movement. Laurie was the first recording artist to perform regularly on Nick Jr. and can also be seen on the preschool network Sprout. Dubbed "the queen of children's music" by People Magazine, her best-selling CDs and DVDs appeal to young and old alike. Time Magazine declared "Berkner inhabits a kid's curious perspective in her lyrics and pens folk-pop melodies that bear repeated - very repeated - listenings. The Los Angeles Times asserted "Laurie Berkner does what FrEd Rogers did: respect, validate and reassure young children."
Barbara Zinn Krieger founded Making Books Sing during her 22-year tenure as Executive Director and Founder of New York's Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre. Krieger has been writing children's operas and musicals for more than 15 years. Credits include book and lyrics for THE MERRY MULDOONS and APPELEMANDO'S DREAMS with composer James Kurtz, and LITTLE KIT, THE BUTTERFLY, Jose Limon: THE MAKING OF AN ARTIST and SKY BOYS with composer Charles Greenberg. She has also written BEAUTIFUL WARRIOR (Jin Xiang, composer), the book and additional lyrics FOR THE UPSIDE DOWN BOY (lyrics by Juan Felipe Herrera and music by Cristian Amigo) and the book for THE ORPHAN SINGER (featuring the music of Antonio Vivaldi, music selection and arrangement by Rick Erickson), all for Making Books Sing. Ms. Krieger is currently librettist for CLARA: THE LIFE AND LOVES OF CLARA SCHUMANN, a two-act adult opera, music composed by Victoria Bond. Ms. Krieger is a recipient of the Opera America Distinguished Service Award.
Making Books Sing began in 1996 as a program of the Tony Award-winning Vineyard Theatre, which Krieger founded in 1981 and led until 2002. Making Books Sing is the only theater company of its kind dedicated to combining literacy with the performing arts by creating professional theater works based on contemporary children's books from diverse cultures. Making Books Sing has reached over 100,000 school-aged children and their families with its musical productions including: BEAUTIFUL WARRIOR, BIRD WOMAN: THE STORY OF SACAJAWEA, A BAND OF ANGELS, THE ORPHAN SINGER, THE BUTTERFLY, A SHELTER IN OUR CAR, Jose Limon: THE MAKING OF AN ARTIST, TEA WITH CHACHAJI, SKY BOYS and Louis Armstrong: JAZZ AMBASSADOR.