Make sure you don’t forget the exclamation point. After all, it’s exciting, right? Right???
A musical of Peter Pan is being presented at SMS. Jessi’s joined the school paper and is doing an insider’s view of the play, so she’s asking everyone to turn in notes. Here are everyone’s plot lines, in the order they first get a chapter:
Jessi: Acts like a jerk through the whole book. Seriously, she’s much bitchier than normal. She wants to be Peter Pan, but winds up an Indian, so she drops out of the play but ends up assistant choreographer and then has to play Nana and the crocodile.
Kristy: Plays Peter Pan and keeps forgetting her lines, partly because of Dawn.
Dawn: Plays Wendy. Keeps changing the lines so the play is less sexist. Also wishes her dad could be there, but doesn’t even tell him about the play.
Stacey: Plays Mrs. Darling to Sam’s (her current BF, remember?) Mr. Darling. Finds him more annoying than normal.
Cokie: Yes! There’s Cokie! I kinda heart her, although not as much as when she called Mary Anne and Claudia flat-chested in SS#15. She plays Tiger Lily and acts like a brat. Among other things, she turns the janitor’s closet into her own private dressing room.
Claudia: Is the set designer and worries about Cokie’s taunting about the scenery falling down and killing someone.
Mary Anne: Despite her insistence than she’s not going anywhere near the stage, she winds up as the backstage babysitter, supervising all the little children who are not being needed at that point. Gets annoyed with Mallory and has to deal with Jackie.
Mallory: Is the apprentice costume designer and mostly neglects her duties. Instead of keeping track of costumes, she keeps horning in on Mary Anne’s babysitter shtick. Also gets embarrassed having to measure people.
Logan: Plays a pirate named Noodler and spends more time goofing off than working. He actually gets kicked out of the play at one point.
Jackie R: gets the part of Michael Darling. (I bet the director regretted that decision after he got to know him better.) Is afraid of the crocodile costume.
Sam: Has been acting like a goofball because he wants to prove to his friends (who have been calling him a cradle robber) that he’s having a good time with Stacey.
The cover. It’s notable for having Logan on it, front and (slightly-off-)center. But it’s a bad, bad cover. The main issue? It’s a giant spoiler. I remembered being mad somewhere near the beginning of the book that I already knew Kristy was going to play Peter and Dawn would be Wendy. But the giant ending-ruiner is Jessi dressed up as the crocodile, which doesn’t happen until chapter 21!
I’m still trying to follow Jessi’s logic. It goes like this: I can dance, therefore I will be Peter Pan. Without any thought to the fact that Peter Pan also needs to be able to sing and act. Besides, it’s not like the dancing in a musical is the same as a ballet. Maybe if she took jazz and tap too, like some girls I went to school with.
I’m trying to figure this play out. It’s not an SMS play, because high school and elementary school kids can also try out. But most of the roles go to middle school students. Hmm.
Gross lunch time: Kristy likens her mystery meat to something Boo-boo dragged into the house.
Here’s what everyone is going to audition for.
Dawn: Tiger Lily
Stacey: whatever small part she can get
Jessi: Peter Pan (duh)
“You guys could never be spies,” is what Kristy tells her friends (BSC and Logan). This is obviously before BSC stakeouts became a ‘thing.’
Dawn’s such an individual and she doesn’t care what other people think. So why does she consider not trying out for Tiger Lily just because Cokie is as well?
Karen throws a temper tantrum on stage, because she wants to be Tinker Bell. (Tinker Bell isn’t really a character in the musical—she’s represented by light and a tinkling noise.) I remember clearly hoping that meant she wouldn’t get any part at all. Instead, of course, because no one ever really tells Karen no, they actually create the part just for her. BRAT!
Matt Braddock is listed as being eight when he’s introduced; he’s usually seven.
Heh. During the Cokie chapter (where you learn who got which part), she writes her introduction (in all caps) and calls Jessi a twerp and then crosses it out. In this book, she’s actually pretty accurate. Later, she finishes her chapter by trying to undermine Claudia and Mal in their crew jobs.
I’ve always remembered this: Because Cokie and Grace aren’t particularly good students, when the two of them go to their teachers/guidance counselors/whoever and say things like, “I’m not good at math, but I’d do better if I could do it earlier in the day,” so they can get more classes together.
Cokie and I actually have something in common: we want to correct her friend’s spelling. Oh, and we both watched General Hospital when we were in eighth grade. (Okay, maybe I still do.)
Ooh, Claudia spelling! Confussing, whanted, husbend, senery, desiner shes. Oh, and the funniest bit is that she spells both Kristy (Kirsty) and Jessi (Jessy) wrong.
Claudia doesn’t really have a plotline, so she gets to narrate the meeting after Jessi doesn’t get Peter Pan…and Kristy does. Jessi makes a good point when both Kristy and Dawn (who ended up with the two biggest roles in the play) are griping about it. They shouldn’t complain, because they got what they wanted…just a little larger. (It’s like really wanting a baby and then getting upset because you’re having twins.) But then she ruins it by saying that she was told she was too good for the role and had too many starring roles already. (I don’t remember if you actually find out what was said, but Jessi’s way of saying it makes it sound like she’s making it up.*)
The title quote is Kristy’s response to Jessi snorting at her.
The head costume designer is named Savannah. Mal says she doesn’t go by a nickname because she doesn’t have a good one. Well, not everyone needs a nickname, even if their name is three syllables. I mean, does Vanessa have to go out and get a nickname now?
Logan totally blames the fact that he was kicked out of the play on Dawn’s woman’s libbing and Kristy’s inability to remember her lines. Okay, those things did annoy the director, but take some responsibility for your actions, Logan! (Logan says that he didn’t deserve to be kicked out of the play, but it’s a total teacher move. In order to get control over all the cast, he had to make an example of the first person to get out of line.)
Here’s the real question over Logan’s firing. If no one’s working with the pirates, why are they even at the rehearsal? I’m a little like Mary Anne and I’ve never wanted to be in a play, so I’ve never been backstage. But I’ve seen enough television and read enough books to know that generally, only those people needed for a rehearsal go to that rehearsal.
I had a ‘first edition’ of this from when it was first published—I think I got it for Christmas—but I don’t remember whether the card that’s in this one was in my book. It’s all the BSC sitting with Santa and has AMM’s signature on the back with the words Seasons Greetings. Santa looks freaky.
Jackie spelling: writting, hapens, Michal, costums, Mary Ann, speshul. Oh, and he’s keeping a dairy.
Jessi actually keeps thinking that, because Kristy’s having trouble with her lines, the powers that be will just up and fire her and let Jessi fill the role. (Like she doesn’t have an understudy or anything. If Kristy were going to get fired, her understudy would probably get the role instead.)
*You do find out that Mr. Cheney did indeed tell Jessi that. It’s possible her phrasing was more trying not to make Kristy feel bad, but it doesn’t seem that way. (Mr. Cheney did also tell Jessi that she’s a very talented dancer with stage presence but that her dancing and acting were…so so.)
I had a good giggle about this: Stacey hears a giggle while she’s performing on stage, but she can’t look around because there’s no stage direction in the script that says: Mrs. Darling checks around the stage to see who’s making fun of her.
“Sing out, Louise!” I had to Google that before I found out it was from Gypsy.
Sam spends his entire diary entry contemplating how he doesn’t understand women.
My favorite moment in the whole book: David Michael and Bill tie a bunch of shoes together and then consider gluing them to the floor. Mary Anne catches them, and all they have to say is “Oops.”
More Jackie spelling. He’s actually doing okay until he gets to rehursl. (That’s his third try.) He also tries twice to spell dictionary.
One of the Pike triplets throws his hat out the bus window on the way to the dress rehearsal. After that the teacher supervising them makes a no-talking rule. Jackie thinks the teacher should have made a no-hat-throwing rule instead.
Jackie deals with his fear of the crocodile during the dress rehearsal by throwing a Styrofoam rock at it and shouting crocabunga. He gets a serious lecture afterward but still tells his mom it was the best day of his life.
Claudia spelling: scenry, expeting, rehursal (slightly better than Jackie), wallope, senery, specticuler (spectacular), performance, nerly, nervus. She spells Kristy wrong again and says she imaged something instead of imagined.
Stacey shows up at Claudia’s and starts doing ‘what ifs’ with her fears. Claudia tells her that she sounds like Mary Anne, the “demented version.” I have to smile at that, even though it doesn’t say good things for what they think about MA.
Of course, the play goes off well. Dawn (who didn’t eat all day) doesn’t faint or barf or change her lines and cries when Richard brings her some roses during the curtain call.