Small Steps Book Report

Oregon Children's Theater's "Small Steps" wouldn't be the success it is without the sharp, polished songs by composer Karl Mansfield, a top theatrical conductor and keyboardist whose credits include the off-Broadway hits "Grey Gardens," "Avenue Q" and "Altar Boyz." Mansfield is a pros' pro who got his start, many years ago, in Portland musical theater.

Armpit is getting his life back on track one step at a time - he's got a good job, and he's getting caught up in school. Find out how in this summary with quotes from Louis Sachar's ''Small Steps.'' ''The secret was to take small steps and just keep moving forward.'' Everybody makes mistakes. But sometimes we make the kind of mistakes that require a life change. Kaira is a 17-year-old black singer who is so popular her shows sell out quickly.

The notorious Camp Green Lake juvenile detention facility is just a nightmare memory.

And Armpit, finally sprung from the trap of what was essentially a slave-labor camp, is back home in Austin, Texas, trying to stay out of trouble and make an honest place for himself.

And she's turned him on to the music of Kaira, who's coming to Austin for a big show. And each has to deal with the pressures of having to grow up too soon.

X-Ray hooks Armpit into a ticket-scalping scheme, and a whole lot of unintended consequences come raining down. Together, they can just be themselves, which is often the hardest thing in the world for a kid to be. Cantor, a sixth grader who's already begun to make a name for herself with performances including the lead in Northwest Children's Theater's hip jazz version of "Alice in Wonderland," keeps a tough hold on Ginny, refusing to let her dip into pathos or easy sentimentality.

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At dinner after the show, the Small LSB niftily and oh-so-casually wove it into the conversation that he got to meet Louis Sachar.

And, yes, it was a big deal.” And, no, I wasn’t there.

In looking at my schedule, I’ll be in town exactly one weekend day during the run that’s open to the public.

The right lesson is that markets and institutions do succumb occasionally to excesses, which is why regulators have to be vigilant.

The report argues for skilled regulators who encourage growth and innovation even while working harder to contain risks.

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