Summer camp moves downtown to Miami with the opening of the Arsht Center’s latest musical, Camp Kappawanna. Following the (mis)adventures of 12-year old Jennifer Jenkins, the show develops around this young heroine’s charmingly awkward ways. The storyline portrays both the fear and excitement of leaving home for the first time through song and laughter. With lyrics and music by Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Lisa Loeb, the musical includes a script by South Florida playwright Marco Ramirez and was co-written by Michelle Lewis and Dan Petty.
The lighthearted musical was inspired by Loeb’s own nostalgic summer camp memories. The intensity of this childhood experience drove Loeb to write Camp Lisa, an album composed of 21 original and classic camp songs, and to establish the Camp Lisa Foundation, which provides underprivileged children with the opportunity to experience summer camp. In the future, Loeb will continue to work on what she describes as “raising awareness of the positive role that summer camp can play in children’s developments.”
When asked about her idea to integrate musical theater and summer camp, Loeb said that in musical theater there are “fun songs, silly songs, serious songs and songs in many styles that kids sing at camp” and recollects how “there always seems to be an acoustic guitar somewhere at summer camp.”
At the musical’s opening, Loeb’s love of music and camp will be combined with a mutual love for Miami, a city “with so much culture and variety” which she describes as “a beautiful place with a big sky.” Camp Kappawanna premieres at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) on Thursday June 17, 2010 at 11 a.m. The show will run Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at varying times through Sunday, June 27. Tickets are being sold online at the Arsht Center website ($25).