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Monday, June 11, 2007

We came, we saw, we sang!


Once Annie O'Brien and I found out that in our non-publishing lives we were both cabaret performers, we decided that fate was telling us to put together an act about the publishing process. We teamed up with Marilyn Salerno, the New England SCBWI regional advisor (and an accompanist for a number of musical theater productions),and performed the debut of A STARRED REVUE in Nashua, NH,on May 18th.
We strung together a series of songs that told the story of an author/illustrator and editor's relationship. The highs, the lows--it was all there. The audience laughed, cried, and it WAS better than CATS, if we say so ourselves.

A STARRED REVUE: Synopsis
Starring Yolanda LeRoy as "Yolanda"
and Anne Sibley O'Brien as "Annie"
(The casting decisions were tough.)

Annie introduces herself as an author/illustrator, and mentions how she met Yolanda at an SCBWI conference. Yolanda seems to be a bit of a diva, as she sweeps onto the
scene singing an adaptation of THIS PLACE IS MINE, from theYeston/Kopit version of PHANTOM ("It belongs all to me, every item that you see. The assistants and designers call me queen"). Her white feather boa flutters in the breeze as she rejects a line of prospective writers holding manuscripts. Oh, the pathos of it all! Now in her office, Yolanda reads Annie's latest submission and is overcome with joy at the sheer artistry of the book dummy (OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING). Annie is delighted at the news that Yolanda, the editorial director of MegaMongo Publishers, is interested in publishing her book (I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT), but she keeps her cool during the negotiations process and finagles a gigantic advance (HEY, BIG SPENDER). Then, without warning, tragedy strikes--Yolanda is leaving for another publisher (HOW COULD I EVER KNOW, from THE SECRET GARDEN). Annie's book is orphaned, and no one at MegaMongo returns Annie's calls (WHAT DID I HAVE THAT I DON'T HAVE). But all is not lost for our heroine. In a dramatic, emotionally layered scene sure to win Tony awards for both actresses, Yolanda calls Annie with the news that New Press Books is interested in another of Annie's projects. The dynamic duo will be reunited again (EVERYTHING'S COMING UP ROSES). The happy pair reflects on their emotional journey
and sing (what else?) THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE BOOK BUSINESS, endingthe show. The crowd goes wild. Good night, Nashua. We love ya.

(submitted by Yolanda)

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