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Really Rosie

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Title: Really Rosie  
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Subject: Chicken soup, Carole King, Maurice Sendak, Louise Goffin, Rosie, Alice Playten, Stuart Ostrow, Westside Theatre, List of musicals by composer: A to L
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Really Rosie

Really Rosie
Music Carole King
Lyrics Maurice Sendak
Book Maurice Sendak
Productions 1975 Animated TV Special
1980 Off-Broadway

Really Rosie is a musical with a book and lyrics by Maurice Sendak and music by Carole King. The musical is based on Sendak's books Chicken Soup with Rice, Pierre, One was Johnny, Alligators All Around (which compose 1962's The Nutshell Library), and The Sign on Rosie's Door (1960). Sendak based the story on a demonstrative little girl who used to sing and dance on the stoop of her building, whom he observed while he was a little boy growing up in Brooklyn.

The musical has become a mainstay of children's theater groups.[1] It follows a typical summer day in the life of the Nutshell Kids, a group of several neighborhood friends, including Pierre, Alligator, Johnny, and Chicken Soup from the Nutshell Library books, and Rosie and Kathy from The Sign on Rosie's Door. Rosie, the self-proclaimed sassiest kid on her block of Brooklyn's Avenue P, entertains everyone by directing and starring in an Oscar-winning movie based on the exciting, dramatic, funny (and slightly exaggerated) story of her life. During its off-Broadway run, the lead role of Rosie was played by a-then 12-year-old Tisha Campbell-Martin.

A half-hour animated television special aired on CBS TV in February 1975. It was directed by Maurice Sendak, with Carole King voicing the title character. An album based on the songs by King and lyrics by Sendak is available on Ode/Epic/SME Records. In the animated special, only the first seven songs and Really Rosie (Reprise) were showcased. Sendak expanded the piece for London and Washington, DC, stage productions in 1978,[2] and an off-Broadway production, directed and choreographed by Patricia Birch with designs by Sendak, which opened on October 14, 1980, at the Westside Theatre, where it ran for 274 performances.[3]


Rosie and the characters from The Nutshell Library live on the same block on Avenue P in Brooklyn, New York. On a hot July Saturday, the children are bored and need something to do. Rosie imagines herself as a famous and talented star, and decides to produce an imaginary movie musical about her life and in particular the demise of her brother named Chicken Soup, to be called Did You Hear What Happened to Chicken Soup?

She gets her friends, the Nutshell Kids, to audition for a role in the film, but they begin to fight over casting. A thunderstorm forces the kids to move into the cellar. To keep the kids' attention, Rosie decides that they need to show the producer the movie's big finale number. She gets them all to close their eyes and imagine the producer inviting them to make her movie. Afterward, when the children go home, Rosie remains to dream of stardom in her big number.


Really Rosie
Carole King
Released February 1975
May 25, 1999 (CD reissue)
Recorded 1974
Genre Children's music, soft rock
Length 33:24 (Original album)
35:50 (CD reissue)
Label Ode / Epic
SP 77027 (original release) United States
PE 34955 (reissue) United States
EK 65742 (CD reissue) United States
ECIP-847 Japan
Producer Lou Adler, Sheldon Riss
Carole King chronology

Wrap Around Joy
Really Rosie
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau B+ link

Track listing

Lyrics by Maurice Sendak, music by Carole King.

Side 1
  1. "Really Rosie" – 1:51
  2. "One Was Johnny" – 2:08
  3. "Alligators All Around" – 1:54
  4. "Pierre" – 5:38
  5. "Screaming and Yelling" – 1:16
  6. "The Ballad of Chicken Soup" – 2:15
  7. "Chicken Soup with Rice" – 4:20
Side 2
  1. "Avenue P" – 3:03
  2. "My Simple Humble Neighborhood" – 3:07
  3. "The Awful Truth" – 3:11
  4. "Such Sufferin'" – 2:55
  5. "Really Rosie" (Reprise) – 1:40
Bonus track (1999 remaster)
  1. "Really Rosie" (Original piano demo)

Chart position

Year Country Chart Position
1975 United States The Billboard Top 200[4] 20



Jennings, Coleman A. and Maurice Sendak. Theater for Young Audiences: 20 Great Plays For Children, New York: St. Martin's Press/Macmillan, 2005 ISBN 0-312-33714-0

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • at Google Books
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