Dramarama

Dramarama was so much fun to read!  If you’re a fan of Glee, or musicals in general, you’re going to love this book.  And if you’re not – give it chance!  You might be surprised by just how familiar some of these “theater geeks” are.

Dramarama tells the story of two best friends, Sarah (newly self-named Sadye) and Demi.  Sadye doesn’t look like the cute girls at her high school (she’s too tall and her nose is maybe a bit too big), and Demi – who is black and gay (but in the closet) – is definitely not like anyone else in their small town.  Separately, they’re both kind of invisible, but together they shine.  They sing, they dance, they put on plays – and they just know there’s more to life than high school.  Sadye and Demi are a universe of two; they do everything together.  They’re best friends and they’re each other’s biggest fan.  Which is a good thing, because their little Ohio town is definitely lacking in “razzle-dazzle”.  So when the chance comes to audition for a theatrical summer camp, they jump at it.  And they make it!

Their summer at Wildewood Academy for the Performing Arts is everything – and nothing – like they imagined.  There are new friends, new relationships, and big time competition – for everything from boys to parts.  Wildewood is all drama all the time, and it doesn’t stop at the stage door.  You can imagine it:  drama camp doesn’t necessarily appeal to the quiet kids.  Instead, Sadye’s new friends are likely to climb up on the cafeteria table and belt out a perfect rendition of Rose’s Turn (Glee fans – you might remember Kurt’s performance of this!)

Lockhart does a great job of creating characters who feel completely real.  Sadye, Demi and their friends might be a little more dramatic than some people, but just like everyone else, they fall in – and out – of love, they get angry and confused, and they also have a really amazing time.  And along the way they record some of their conversations “for posterity” (and because they just know they’re all going to be famous).  They also work hard, learning song and dance routines, practicing acting exercises (their director’s ‘vision’ for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is especially hilarious) and trying to figure out where they fit in the hierarchy of Wildewood and the world of theatre.  Sadye and her friends are like people we’ve all known – or maybe like us.  They all want the same thing:  love.  Whether that love comes from your parents, your friends, your boyfriend, or an adoring audience doesn’t always matter.  And the chance to perform – to get up on that stage and knock ‘em dead – is at the heart of it all.

If you’re familiar with musicals, the non-stop references to everything from Cabaret to Rent to Spring Awakening will be right up your alley.  If you’re not, check out the author’s blog; she has links, videos, and you can even download Sadye’s iMix of the songs she refers to throughout the book.

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