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Junie B. Jones the Musical

We’d never read the Junie B. Jones books, so I wasn’t sure if my 9-year-old daughter and her school pal would find the story relatable. It turned out to me a non-issue. Loving parents who just don’t understand, precarious social structures, and the desire to have a place to put your “own personal beeswax” is universal!

The book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler were fun, and the cast, directed and choreographed by Johanna Mckenzie Miller, brought enough enthusiasm and child-like energy that we were able to suspend disbelief and embrace the adult actors as first graders. The production made creative use of the space, props, lighting, and quick changes to pack in the different locals and characters. A “bus ride” was particularly creative and enjoyable to watch.

That play opens as Junie B.—played with heart, verve, and a lovely voice by Elizabeth Telford—is starting first grade. Given the cold shoulder by her old friends and facing trouble with her class work, it’s time for Junie B. to embrace new friends and new… well, you’ll have to see the play to find out.

Rashada Dawan as Junie B.’s mom and lunch lady Mrs. Gutzman, deserves special mention, especially for playing the latter character, a kind of cookie-making-angel who inspires awe in the children and rocks her spatula like a true queen.

The kids loved the show and were excited to meet the characters afterwards. I highly recommend Junie B. Jones the Musical for kids of all ages!