Captain Louie TYA
The new kid in town takes to the sky in Stephen Schwartz's charming tale of imagination and fresh starts.
Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis

Louie's family has recently moved to a new neighborhood. Lonely and feeling friendless ("New Kid in the Neighborhood"), Louie goes back to his room to play with his favorite toy, Red, his little red plane. When Red "suggests" they take a trip back to his old neighborhood, Louie makes a diorama out of an old shoebox covered with purple cellophane. He looks into it and, in his imagination, they are off! ("Big Red Plane").

As they fly towards the old neighborhood, sinister doings are afoot. A gang of odd-shaped creatures – a mouse, a monster, a sack, a broom and a flower – are plotting to trick Louie when he arrives ("We've Got a Welcome for Louie"). Louie lands in his old neighborhood, but something is amiss. It's dark and empty. Louie calls out for his old friends, but the only answer is the echo of his own voice. Suddenly, a whistle shrieks. Dark shapes jump out and chase Louie through the streets and alleys ("Shadows"). Louie is trapped, and the gang of creatures drag him to their hideout, where they give him the third degree. Just when it looks really bad for our hero, he notices, peeking out from the bottom of the "Sack," the tail of the neighborhood cat. These aren't frightening creatures at all. These are Louie's old friends, dressed up for Halloween. After the trick is revealed, they all set out to celebrate Captain Louie's return ("Trick or Treat").

Louie and the Gang are approached by Julio, a new kid in the neighborhood, with whom they become fast friends. They are all about to set off for some trick-or-treating when one of the gang, Ziggy, mentions that someone has moved into Louie's old place. Indignant that anyone one would dare to try to take Louie's place, they declare this new kid a LOOZA! and, led by Julio, they head off to "trick his house up good" ("Looza on the Block"), only to discover that the LOOZA's house is none other than their new friend, Julio's!

Next the Gang decides to go to Ziggy's house. They have never been there before because he lives in a scary part of town. Ziggy seems oddly resistant to the idea, but the gang insists. Ziggy is forced to admit that he didn't want his friends to go to his place because his family can't afford the Halloween decorations and candy. Louie gets an idea to help out Ziggy ("Spiffin' up Ziggy's").

Halloween is almost over, so Louie suggests they go trick-or-treating by plane ("Captain Louie"). When they land, it is time for Louie to go. He bids his friends a warm farewell ("Home Again") and finds himself transported out of his diorama world and back into his new home. He gathers up his courage and heads outside, where, dressed as "Captain Louie" in his Red Plane, he makes new friends as the Halloween hit of his new neighborhood ("Finale," "New Kid in the Neighborhood – Reprise").



Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Louie (captain)
Louie is a new kid in a new neighborhood. Louie uses the strength of his imagination to help him make new friends. Shy, generous.
Gender: male
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Amy (broom)
Amy is the perfect lieutenant and faithful to her leader. Enthusiastic, energetic, loyal.
Gender: female
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Archie/angie (flower)
Archie is the smallest, youngest, and most cautious member of the gang. He can be spooked by just about anything.
Gender: any
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Julio (bat)
The new kid in Louie's neighborhood. He is not afraid to meet new people. Sense of humor and strong personality.
Gender: male
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Roberta (mouse)
Roberta is the boss of the gang. Impulsive, honest, sincere.
Gender: female
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Ziggy (monster)
Ziggy is the biggest guy in the gang. Always ready for a joke or a high five.
Gender: male
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
The Cat (sack)
An independent cat and a bit of a trickster.
Gender: female
Age: 8 to 12
Neighborhood Kids; Shadows
Full Song List
Captain Louie: New Kid in the Neighborhood
Captain Louie: Big Red Plane
Captain Louie: A Welcome For Louie
Captain Louie: Shadows
Captain Louie: Trick or Treat
Captain Louie: Looza on the Block
Captain Louie: Spiffin' Up Ziggy's
Captain Louie: Captain Louie
Captain Louie: Home Again
Captain Louie: Finale

Show History


Captain Louie is a family musical adapted from the children's book, The Trip, by Ezra Jack Keats. The original story clocks in at only 347 words and tells the story of a young boy who escapes into his imagination after being forced to move to a new neighborhood. The First All Children's Theatre, a repertory company of young performers in NYC, was in search for a new work. Meridee Stein stumbled upon The Trip and decided to turn it into a short musical. She reached out to Stephen Schwartz, who had previously visited the theatre with his family, to write the music. Though Schwartz was working on the musical, RAGS, he gladly agreed to help.


Captain Louie began back in 1983 with a 35-minute version in a theatre on West 65th Street in New York City. It was directed by Meridee Stein, the founder and artistic director of the First All Children's Theatre... and the writer of the source material even pitched in to design the sets and costumes! The production played for a year and briefly performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., but soon faded into the woodwork.

The musical came to light more than 20 years later, when book writer, Anthony Stein (husband of Meridee), and composer, Stephen Schwartz, decided to revisit the material. They expanded it to a 65-minute version with new songs, scenes and the added character of Julio. The new version premiered at the York Theatre Company, later playing at the Little Shubert Theatre. The revamped musical then faced a U.S. tour from 2006 to 2007 and a spot at the Junior Theatre Festival in 2009.

Critical Reaction

"Exhilarating... a pure, uncomplicated pleasure....  A counterpoint of sweet and salsa animates the best songs....  This show will transport you."
– The New York Times

"It's the type of children's theater that I most enjoy.  ...Here's a story that all too many can indeed identify with.  ...Captain Louie is a show that many kids can truly relate and respond to, especially in these times when families are so peripatetic."
– TheaterMania

"Captain Louie is a thoroughly enjoyable children's musical, with enough energy to capture the young audience's attention.  ...Stephen Schwartz's music is spirited.  It offers the cast an outlet for their energy."

"A heartfelt musical....  The ten songs, many accompanied by fun... made for a lovely afternoon activity."
– CurtainUp

"Nothing short of magical... one that will inspire children to a life of theatergoing."
– Talkin' Broadway



Based on The Trip by Ezra Jack Keats.


You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
Based on "The Trip" by Ezra Jack Keats
Book by
Music and Lyrics by
Produced in New York at The Little Shubert Theatre
by Meridee Stein, Kurt Peterson & Bob Reich
Directed by Meridee Stein
Original New York production at the York Theatre Company
(James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director)
in association with Meridee Stein, Pam Koslow & Kurt Peterson
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

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