Book by Jennifer Draganski and Sean Hartley. Music by John O'Neill. Lyrics by John O'Neill and Sean Hartley. Based on the book Sunshine by Ludwig Bemelmans.
Cast: 2m., 1w., at least 12 children. Based on a delightful book by Madeline author Ludwig Bemelmans, Sunshine tells the story of a grumpy landlord, Mr. Sunshine, who wants nothing but peace and quiet in his brownstone in Gramercy Park, New York. When he meets Miss Moore, a sweet and slightly daffy older woman, he thinks he has found a perfect tenant, and he immediately signs her to a five-year lease. The next day, Mr. Sunshine discovers that Miss Moore intends to run a music school in her apartment. Enraged, he tries to evict her, but the imperturbable Miss Moore is so dedicated to sharing the joys of music with her students that she barely notices his displeasure and resists all attempts to be moved. However, after hearing a radio weather forecast calling for rain, Miss Moore attends a public auction, where she unwittingly bids the rent money on a lot of 500 umbrellas. She is now unable to pay the rent, and Mr. Sunshine plans to evict her and the school. But the resourceful students take matters into their own hands, raising the necessary money by selling the umbrellas. Mr. Sunshine moves out of the building, defeated, but then realizes he is lonely without the children. He returns to his building and becomes a patron of the music school. The ensemble of children has several stirring musical numbers, including the contrapuntal "The Rain Song" (in which they sell the umbrellas), "The Auction" (sung with the auctioneer), "Get Out Your Parasol" (sung with Max Marvel, the weather man, in a '40s-style fantasy sequence), and Miss Moore's theme song about the joys of music, "Make a Joyful Noise." Area staging. Approximate Running Time: 50 minutes.