Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review: Over the Moon: A Musical Play

Over the Moon: A Musical Play
Over the Moon: A Musical Play by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this better than I actually ended up liking it. The reason I was so interested in it is that I am trying to write a musical for kids, too. I really wanted to see what the format was of such a venture. I wanted to see how much story there was and compare that to how much music there was. How are stage changes made? How many characters can be effectively used? Who writes the play part? Who writes the music? Who does the lyrics?

I am not at all sorry that I bought the book. It has helped me a lot with my ideas about my musical and has helped me figure out answers for my own efforts (I currently have too much story and once I flesh out the parts that I still MUST include in order for the story to make sense, I will also have too much music. That makes me a bit sad, but I think I am right in my assessment.)

Nevertheless, I must admit, I was disappointed in the story. It is clever and amusing and fun, but, for me, it lacks depth. It is mostly just clever, amusing, and fun. That is probably great for getting real students in real schools to perform it. Middle school crowds love humor and light drama. I am not sure why I am not quite satisfied with that.

My music teacher and I have played through some of the songs in the book and there are a couple that I really like. It could be that there is the depth I long for when I put the musical and the theatrical parts together.

For now, I like the story my musical is based on better (Patricia Wrede's Dealing with Dragons), but my music isn't nearly as competent as Ellen Wilber's and my lyrics also need polishing, compared to Jodi Picoult's. I guess that is about what I would expect. I still need to do a lot of work.

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