“A Kitty-Sized Adventure in the City”: A Review of Katy on Broadway (Kitty in the City) by Ella English
(Crimson Dragon Publishing, 2022). ISBN: 978-1-944644-23-9
There is no greater expression of joy than singing. Whether
it is in tune, out of tune, lip-synching, a parody, or something created on
Songify, nothing brings in the YouTube or TikTok numbers like a committed
singer and their commitment to a song.
Pop and rock singers are the superstars of American culture.
The most successful make millions for a show and live like kings and queens.
Although less popular and wealthy, Broadway stars are the heroes of countless
high school and college musical theatre students, most of whom will never have
the opportunity to stand in the spotlight on the Great White Way and have that
moment of song in the sun.
Keeping this in mind, Ella English’s mission with Katy on Broadway, and I am sure with the
larger Kitty in the City series, is, in a word, wonderful: “Enjoy the sound of
your children singing, no matter what it sounds like.” I know from personal
experience with one of my children how important this is. I come from a family of
excellent singers and musical performers, including one of my children. I made
what I thought was an off-handed and harmless comment to one of my other
children while they were singing when they were ten. Fifteen years later, they found
the opportunity to talk about it because it hurt them deeply.
My wife, who has a beautiful voice, will not sing at all
because of comments made when she was young.
Broadening this out, Don Miguel Ruiz, in his bestselling and
life changing The Four Agreements,
uses the example of telling a child they cannot sing as a sure way to crush
their very soul and condition them to never, ever express themselves freely
If you know a child who needs to hear that it’s okay to
express yourself, no matter what others think—and what child (or adult)
doesn’t?—then Katy on Broadway is
Katy, a frisky kitty who lives close to NYC, loves to sing,
but Gerry the Squirrel and others around them ask her not to. Undaunted—like a
kid in their room singing into a hairbrush imagining they are singing for
thousands—Katy sings her lungs out, suffering the slings and arrows of the
uninspired and unkind.
Even her otherwise lovely owner, Lilian, asks her not to
Katy, however, is a kitty with a dream. Catching birds… not
interesting. Other cat behaviors… forget about it.
Then, one day (that trio of powerful words), in an attempt
to get away from the slings and arrows… well, cans and sticks… that Gerry is
hurling at her, Katy winds up taking a wild adventure into New York City
It isn’t long before she meets a city cat named Weasel.
Think Rizzo the Rat from The Muppets. He’s the requisite tour guide
needed in Stranger in a Strange Land tales like Katy on Broadway. Not only is Weasel streetwise—he is a tremendous
judge of talent. He sees in Katy what those in suburbia can’t.
How Katy gets on stage on Broadway and what happens when she
does… Well… what kind of a reviewer would I be if I gave those details away? I
will say this, however: Be prepared for a number worthy of Baz Luhrmann, dreams
that come beautifully true, and unexpected help from a couple of Katy’s biggest
fans. There are even two sets of song lyrics to which you can make up some
So what are you waiting for, my song-loving friends?
Somewhere, right now… maybe in the very next room… is someone who loves to sing
who needs to hear this story.
And, if an inspiring tale of taking chances and celebrating
the Arts is not enough incentive, there are two pages of fun facts about
Broadway and New York.
As a lifelong performer and teacher of the Arts, I applaud
the tune that Ella English (what a great name) is singing: “Enjoy the sound of
your children singing, no matter what it sounds like.”
Because what it truly sounds like is love.