An Original Musical Comedy
Book by Bridget Straub
Lyrics by Bridget Straub and Laura Hall
Music by Laura Hall
Room to Grow is a funny, heartwarming musical comedy about the struggles of a modern growing family. We wrote the show to be performed by kids as young as grade school; and to be as fun to perform as to watch, for audiences of all ages.
When Brenda and Andrew Halstrum become pregnant with their seventh child they have to move to a bigger house. Their Granny, who hails from the country of Grout and speaks a language that no one but Mom and Emma can understand, also lives with them. To support the brood, Dad begins a second job and is working around the clock with barely a minute to spend with his clan. Their new home is in a “perfect neighborhood” which is looked after by the nosy Babs Barrymore, head of the Homeowners Association.
In a wild turn of events, including a bizarre accident, they end up nearly losing their new home. Meanwhile, unaware of Granny’s whereabouts, her first true love from Grout returns to town to be with his family. The two are reunited, and in the end not only save the Halstrum’s house, but they help Mom fulfill her lifelong dream which is to open an art school. The kids in the neighborhood learn that kindness can help you get through anything and they teach the adults a thing or two, while the neighborhood gently pulls together.
It all started on a long car ride with my two year old niece. She was bored and restless so I made up songs to keep her entertained. I ended up making her a tape (back in the days of cassette tapes, you know, before the turn of the century). Then friends started asking me for copies, so I decided to make a real recording in my studio, I SEE A TIGER. That same niece (who is now in college!) drew the tiger for the cover, Heather Stanfield drew the little girl for the logo, and I started my own record label, Sister Trudy’s Music. I started doing concerts for kids and enjoyed it so much, I made COME JOIN THE PARADE a few years later.
I love writing and performing for kids because they are the most honest audience you’ll ever have. When they’re having fun, their joy is so genuine and real. It also makes me happy to feel like a positive influence in kid’s lives. I like to do kid’s concerts, usually with my husband, Rick Hall (who is just a big kid himself) We do lively, interactive shows, and get the kids to play and sing along, make suggestions, and use their imaginations. We use our backgrounds in improv and theater to make unique, imaginative shows that bring the songs to life. It’s all in good fun!
“Fun for kids without being annoying to parents!” - a mom
Click here for I See a Tiger / Come Join the Parade lyrics
Amy has created a marvelous collection of folk tales from around the world; they are rich and lively, funny and wise. I got to write the music in a variety of styles, trying to capture the individual flavor of each story. I got to use all sorts of exotic, interesting instruments such as: tablas (East Indian drums), sruuti box (East Indian drone), Balafon (African xylophone), ganjukoi bells (African hand bells), penny whistle, accordion, melodica, dulcimer, viola di gamba, recorder, thumb piano, toy piano and pow wow drum. Each story was so well told that scoring them was pure joy.
“This delightful collection supplies everything needed for a satisfying storytelling session, except a comfy lap to cuddle on” - School Library Journal
“Twice told tales never told better – the talent is first rate from top to bottom. The stories literally jump off the cd and into the listener’s imagination....this is the real deal!” – John Wood, Kidzmusic.comVisit the Tell Me a Story website
My favorite performance part was singing as a trio of puppets, in three part sock-puppet-harmony. It was really fun to be involved in such a collaborative process, and writing such fun music for kids.
The most exciting aspect has been working with Roger Daltrey, who did the voice of Argon, an eight foot dragon who drives the bus. Roger likes acting, when he has time off from being a rock star, of course. He did a great job with the singing (of course) and the acting as well. We recorded him for the first DVD in my very own studio! The day he came over, I had lots of volunteers offer to bring coffee, get lunch, anything to get to meet Roger. For the second one, I traveled to Ireland to record Roger, where he was shooting another movie. And we recorded him on the third one at the famed Capitol Records in Hollywood.
On the second DVD we also had Victoria Jackson (of SNL fame). She played a mouse that arrived from the moon in a tiny spaceship. Her voice was perfect for the part. And we’ve had a whole slew of other great actor/singers who you might not know well now, but you will someday.
All the DVD’s are educational, focusing on socialization skills for young kids, like sharing and taking turns. But they are always, first andforemost, fun.
To learn more, go to The Wheels on the Bus website.