THE GIRL FROM BLEECKER STREET is a fun, innovative look at the theater world reflected in the audition process of one young actor.
Kristen is a young, teenage ingenue in waiting. She dreams of singing, dancing, and acting on Broadway and does everything she can to realize that dream, dragging her parents along to failed audition after failed audition. In the process, Kristen, like anyone in this situation at her age, begins to get depressed and frustrated, deciding that her last audition is going to be her make or break audition. She prepares hard for the role of Cosette in a production of Les Miserables…only to not get the role. It is in this heartbroken state she meets the mysterious Mister Nathaniel, who asks her to audition for the role of Alice in his new theater on Bleecker street, just blocks from where she lives.
This is a quick read, this is, like I said, a great look into a world we don’t often get to see, the world of theater and the stiff competition and rejections that come with it and how those rejections affect young actors. It also provides us a chance to glimpse how a meeting here can lead to an audition there and reminds us how small the theater world can really be.
As a fan of Alice In Wonderland (and someone who has adapted it [loosely] for the stage) it was fun to see it become a major plot point in the story. It was obvious that the author, J.R. Meehl, is a fan of Alice In Wonderland. It’s also obvious that Mr. Meehl has had experience in the theater, his descriptions of the audition process is right on.
There were a few things I didn’t care for, I would have liked to have seen Kristen’s friend Meg have a bigger part. As a playwright, actor, and director working often in TYA, I have seen that young actors support systems often include their friends and it would have been nice to have seen Meg play a larger role. I also felt that the beginning dragged just a little. I also had some formatting problems, there were letters missing and odd spacing.
Overall, I felt that this was a good story though and was fun to read and I have a feeling I’ll be reading it again.