Dooby Dooby Moo opened on Sunday, with celebrity guests! This is the fourth book in the Click Clack Moo series, and also our fourth to stage. We’ve been delighted to have author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Betsy Lewin attend the past productions and we were thrilled to have them here on opening day. (We even had a bonus celebrity! Betsy’s husband, Ted Lewin, was here too and is also an author-illustrator!)
Whenever a picture book is adapted for stage, the adaptor needs to do a lot of inventing and expanding. That was particularly true for this show. During the rehearsal process, Jim began to experiment with taking the story in different directions after feeling the play wasn’t yet working as it was. In the end, he took a minor character (the sheep, who is new to the series) and made her the heart of the story. In Jim’s version, Ewe is laid-off from her job and arrives at the farm looking for employment and a home. She has lost her confidence since the firing and doesn’t know where she can fit in. Ewe finding her feet again with Farmer Brown’s family of animals creates a really emotional show that Shole and George both mined the heck out of, along with their cast and design team. The resulting show is funny and moving and has great lessons in it. And it is still very recognizably the Cronin and Lewin Dooby Dooby Moo — and Doreen and Betsy were thrilled. It is a triumph. Bring us your children! They will love it (and you will too)!