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Long Island Social Diary: Once Upon A Time

I am a big fan of reading. It’s a bond I’ve had with my kids going back to when they were little. I remember reading Good Night Moon to them every night before they went to sleep at night and it was even better during the holidays when we’d read The Night Before Christmas in front of the tree. So imagine my delight when I heard about Moey’s Fairytale Adventure, which is set to debut on the first weekend of December at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center.

The show has to do with Tina, a clever young girl on a quest to rescue Storyland from certain doom through the power of music and imagination. And it’s all done via fairytale characters kids already know that include Goldilocks, Rumplestiltskin, the Three Little Pigs, the Ugly Duckling, the Tortoise and the Hair and Sleeping Beauty. What’s most impressive is that this production was inspired by Moey, a pink-clad heroine played by its creator Melissa Levis, who was inspired to sing for children after the birth of her son. Shortly after the character of Moey came into existence in 2005, the Off-Broadway lyricist found herself as a very in-demand performer at children’s birthday parties. It was during one of her gigs that she crossed paths with Broadway producer Bonnie Comley, whose husband is Stewart Lane, (a.k.a. Mr. Broadway), is a Tony Award-winning producer whose credits include War Horse and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Tired of the grind from performing live as a result of her character’s popularity, Melissa expressed as much to Bonnie, who convinced Moey’s creator to translate this into an original musical.

According to Bonnie, “Melissa’s songs are terrific. The lyrics are really clever and the music is really catchy. She mixes it up a little bit so there are surprises to contemporize them. So that was where a lot of that started and from there, I suggested we do a musical that has a book with these songs.”

She also told me that she recruited Stewart and daughter Leah Lane to write the book for the proposed musical, got Alyssa Renzi to co-produce with her and wound up with Five Towns College professor and Broadway veteran Marie Danvers as the show’s director. It all came together pretty quickly over a few months dating back to the summer and now you have a Broadway-quality show set to launch early next month.

Bonnie also told me that in addition to the cast being made up of a combination of professional actors and Five Towns students, there is an orchestra providing musical accompaniment whose members are also from the school. It all turns out to be a very exciting sounding show that I’m eager to see. And with the theme being based on fairytales, I can see this being a draw for kids and parents alike, particularly those who may have great memories of reading to their children when they were smaller.

Moey’s Fairytale Adventure makes its world premiere performances at Dix Hills Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8. For more information, please call 631-656-2148 or visit www.dhpac.org