The Mystery on Stage created by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Aldens have caught the acting bug, again, but this time, it’s on stage. They’re all auditioning for a production of The Wizard of Oz, even Watch, the dog. Everybody gets a part, even the housekeeper. Some are munchkins, while others have bigger roles, such as the Cowardly Lion. As always with a Boxcar book, strange things start to happen. Costumes get torn and sets get messed up, just to name a couple of things. The girl who is playing Dorothy is always disappearing mysteriously. The director has received some not very nice notes.
The show must go on though, and it does. The Aldens finally figure out what’s going on and put on a great performance on top of that.
What I liked
I do like the theater. I’ve done a few plays myself and I did enjoy it. I never had any big parts. I was always cast because I could sing, not that I could act too well. I think it would take more effort to act than I would like to put out. I’m not naturally an in front of other people person, so trying to pretend to be someone else in front of other people, when it’s hard enough just to be myself in front of other people, isn’t easy. I do miss my theater days though, costumes, singing, and stage directions. I do not miss those long hours though.
I admire the fact that the Alden children tried out theater. It’s a fun thing and it’s a learning experience. Maybe you learn how to help paint a set or maybe you learn a few stage directions, either way, you’ll learn something.
What I didn’t like
Part of this story involves a parent willfully trying to hinder their child. Haven’t I said that this is a bad thing? You shouldn’t seek to hinder your child in anything. Sure, you can give them a talking to about how some things are realistic and others are not, but you certainly shouldn’t seek to booby trap their hobbies or studies.
Do you like the theater?
Have one of your parents ever tried to hinder your efforts?