That first day of school. Uh-oh. Oof. Ow. MA!

The blue cat walks into that ‘nother, no-mother world away from home, oh gosh! and finds himself stepping lively into all kind of crazy colors and sights. Sing something, Pete. Dance. Those other kids might join in. It could be fun. Classmates, huh? Yep, maybe with all those hues and cries you-all can form some kind of rainbow coalition. 

Pete the Cat, the Musical take the stage at The Rose. It’s a new thing. World premiere. As new as the first day of class. Because Allison Leyton-Brown and Suzanne Miller have transformed the gleaming pages of best-selling children’s books Pete The Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes and Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes into live theatre. James Dean (not the movie star) kicked off the whole thing; it’s his concept for which Eric Litwin wrote the original stories. This take takes on all sort of lighting rays and is further vivified by hugh props. 

Leyton-Brown has written re felines before: Peg+Cat for PBS. Other TV music includes that for The Good Wife and Prime Time. Seven off-Broadway shows show up in her resume. And she’s evidently quite a groovy pianist, with gigs at Birdland plus keyboarding rock groups.

Miller’s been in this mid-west territory before. She adapted Leo Lionni’s Frederick for The Rose in March last year. Other scripts: Young Love; Flirting with the Deep End; Beatrice; The Handwriting, The Soup and The Hats; and Abigail’s Atlas, seen at theatres in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Providence, New Haven and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Rob Urbinati is the director. The UNO grad has earnest Omaha credits, e.g. he staged The Tempest for Nebraska Shakespeare last year. Plus Toxic Avenger: the Musical at Blue Barn along with several Max Sparbar plays there.

Anyone from age 3 on up could find this fun during its one hour run. Pete’s time has surely come.

Pete the Cat runs Sept. 11 – 27 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam Street. Fri: 7 p.m., Sat: 2 p.m. & 5 p.m, Sun: 2 p.m. Tickets: $18

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