Puss In Boots: A Musical
Created by composer Harvey Edelman and lyricist Neil Fishman, Puss in Boots: A Musical is a smart, cheerful, consistently entertaining musical update of the classic feline fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Adapted to audiobook format by Edelman, Fishman, and award-winning voice actor Khristine Hvam, the musical recounts the remarkable story of Clarence, a young ne’er do well who is cast out by his selfish brothers and left with only a single farthing after the death of his father; Penelope, a beautiful 18-year-old princess who is determined to find love on her own terms; and Puss, a suave, sophisticated talking cat who assists Clarence in his adventures. The conflict at the center of the tale begins when Clarence learns that to win the hand of Princess Penelope, with whom he has fallen deeply in love, he must slay the vile, disgusting She Boar of Shanana, who lives in a castle on the outskirts of the kingdom. In the end, Clarence confronts his fears and through his honesty and humility earns the friendship of the She Boar, the love of Princess Penelope, and the respect of the King and Queen. Young listeners will be drawn to the story’s outrageous situations and rambunctious slapstick humor, while parents will be amused by the frequent anachronisms (rush-hour traffic, a Stonehenge golf resort) and absurd references (Mothers Against Dragons, Save the Unicorns, the hipsters of Hipsteria drinking dark exotic liquids in dimly lit cafes) that pop up throughout the tale. The musical numbers at the center of each scene are lively and memorable, and English actor Jim Dale brings the story to life with the same type of tongue-in-cheek gravitas with which actor William Conrad narrated the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon series for an earlier generation.
David Shirley ©2020 Parents’ Choice
David Shirley’s recent nonfiction titles include A History of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fix It Leroy! His YA biographies, Every Day I Sing the Blues: The Story of B. B. King and Satchel Paige: Baseball Legend were honored as the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens.