The third in the Madeline series, ArtsPower’s Madeline and the Bad Hat focuses on the unbreakable bonds of friendship and family. Madeline is none too pleased when Pepito, the son of the Spanish ambassador, moves in next door. He seems insufferably arrogant and conceited. And worst of all, he’s cruel to animals.
Under the guidance of Miss Clavel, the caretaker of the girls at Madeline’s boarding school, Madeline learns not to judge a book by its cover. She discovers that Pepito’s father is rarely at home and that this new neighbor is misbehaving because he is desperate for attention.
Pepito and Madeline become friends after she resourcefully rescues him from danger, and consequently, Pepito and his father also grow closer. It turns out that even an old-fashioned aristocratic gentleman can show great affection, and that Pepito isn’t such a bad hat after all.
Madeline is in that important ‘discovery’ phase of her life, when the types of challenges and conflicts she faces are important to resolve. The timeless charm of Bemelmans’ Madeline story is quite relevant to young children, who are forever seeking ways to handle such problems. The stage is a wonderful venue for such lessons.
Madeline and the Bad Hat has been adapted for the stage by ArtsPower’s artistic director Greg Gunning, who also wrote the lyrics and directed the production. Composer/orchestrator Richard DeRosa created the original Broadway-style score.