Based on the picture book, The Trip, by Caldecott Award-winning author Ezra Jack Keats, Captain Louie opens with young Louie, alone and sad, because he hasn’t yet found any friends in his new neighborhood. Looking for something to cheer him up, he returns to his old neighborhood friends in an imaginative journey on the wings of his favorite toy, his little red plane. During the play, we see the plane go from toy size to Louie size to large enough to take Louie and all his friends on a flight over the sparkling lights of the City.
The story is set on Halloween, and the tricks and treats, masks and costumes, ghosts and ghouls of Louie’s dream journey play a defining role in the story and musical style of the piece.
But most important, Captain Louie is about friendship — the ability to make new friends and the importance of old ones.
Check the website musicalschwartz.com/captain-louie.htm for updates.\
Check the website musicalschwartz.com/captain-louie.htm for information
In the late summer of 2004, Kurt attended a reading of Captain Louie at The New York Musical Theatre Festival. He had been approached several times by Meridee Stein, the director and wife of the book's author Tony Stein, but had always responded that he was not interested in a "kid's show."
Upon hearing Stephen Schwartz's wonderful score and the Stein's tender interpretation of the Ezra Jack Keats book The Trip, Kurt was in love with the show and soon joined the producing team. The show was a joy to see in the limited run at The York with a cast of very talented kids.
Reviews for Captain Louie
New York Daily News
"A charming, child's-size slice of Broadway... one leaves the theatre grateful for the good fortune of New York Children, who can hang out with Broadway-caliber talents as if they were neighborhood friends. Exhilarating... this show will transport you."
The New York Times
"Nothing short of magical... one that will inspire children to a life of theatergoing."
"A winner... guaranteed to entertain both the young and old alike... It's really a family funfest and it's better than Broadway."
Arts and Leisure News Service
"There are times when I wish it were possible to "rent a kid" for an afternoon simply so I could see shows like Captain Louie through their eyes... the ability to craft first-rate theater can be found throughout this one-hour show."
American Theater Web
"...an ideal running time for a show aimed at kids: All the four- and five-year-olds in the audience when I attended were glued to their seats... Anthony Stein's book tells the story without too much extraneous dialogue that would let children's attention wander. Most of the show consists of Schwartz's breezy, bouncy tunes, and they are sophisticated enough to entertain adults as well as children.
"A delightful tale about how the powers of a child's imagination can overcome loneliness and change, it is performed by an outstanding cast of young professionals who display dynamic singing voices and enormous stage presence. Their talent, along with he imaginative direction of Meridee Stein and clever choreography of Joshua Bergasse, make for a captivating visit to the theater... It's an extremely entertaining show and the expressions of delight on the faces of the younger members of the audience proved that they were enjoying every minute of the show.
"Child-size entertainment with adult-size talent. The music alone should have all ages soaring."
New York One
"Although it is geared for a younger audience, Captain Louie is a great musical for all ages... A new and sensational musical."
New York Newsday
"...such a lovely musical... Captain Louie soars with light melodies and simple stagecraft."
AM New York
"...a thoroughly enjoyable children's musical."