August 24th, 2015 by Nancy
Sometimes the stars align and two people who are destined to be friends are brought together. In the case of Jack and Louisa: Act 1, the stars align to bring two STARS together!
Middle schooler Louisa Benning of Shaker Heights, Ohio, is a self-proclaimed MTN — a Musical Theatre Nerd— but the closest thing to Broadway for her is the local community theater group. Fortunately for Louisa, her new neighbor is bonafide Broadway actor Jack Goodrich. But Jack is not about to break out into song and dance (even though he could, expertly) about moving from New York City to Shaker Heights.
In New York City, it was perfectly normal for Jack to attend Professional Performing Arts School, take ballet classes, and sing Sondheim. But now that he’s in Shaker Heights, he’s decided to put his thespian past behind him and be “normal” — which means trying out for the soccer team, not a role in Into the Woods. But when Louisa catches wind of Jack’s spectacular past, she’s determined to be his friend, convince him to audition for the musical, and remind him that it’s completely okay to be an MTN.
Written by Broadway stars Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead, Jack and Lousia is told in alternating points of view, which I thought was great fun to read; the story moves fast and every character in the book was very believable — from the newly nervous Jack to the optimistic Louisa to their friends and family all around them.
Even though there aren’t elaborate chase sequences or epic battles fought in Jack and Louisa, it was a pleasant page-turner. This new series is perfect for fans of school stories, realistic fiction, and friendship stories — and even better if you’re a fan of musical theater!
While we wait for Jack and Louisa: Act 2 (February 2016), you can geek out as an MTN by reading Better Nate Than Never or singing some songs from Into the Woods. (I prefer the movie cast recording, but both Jack and Louisa insist on the original Broadway cast).
Nancy is a total MTN, but she can’t carry a tune… but that doesn’t stop her at karaoke. The show must go on! (Unfortunately for the ears around her).