Little House on the Prairie: The Musical
10-year-old star on the road with cast and crew
First came the books, then the TV series, followed by the mini-series reunion. Now there is Little House on the Prairie: The Musical, currently on a 34-week, 25-city national tour.
The much-loved story of the pioneering Ingalls family and their lives as settlers in the early American midwest has endured for more than 75 years as a series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The current incarnation is based on the TV series, which starred Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls. Gilbert, who played Laura for 10 years, stars in the musical as Ma.
The youngest star is 10-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar, who will be traveling with the show throughout its run. Sonenclar plays Carrie Ingalls, the third and youngest daughter in the Ingalls family.
The fifth-grader lives in Westchester County, New York, and began singing at the age of 2. It wasn't until she began acting classes that she expanded her career goals.
"The acting class really brought me into acting," she told this reporter in a recent backstage interview. "We went to an agency, and I really liked it. That's where it all started."
Sonenclar's first performance was as Pearl in The Night of the Hunter in 2006. She was only 7 years old. She made her Broadway debut the same year as Young Cosette in Les Miserables.
"I was excited, but I was really scared at the same time," Sonenclar said. "But the cast members were really nice and they helped me out a lot."
|Kid Reporter Gopa Praturi and actor Carly Sonenclar in front of a poster for Little on the Prairie: The Musical. Soneclar plays Carrie Ingalls in the production. (Photo Courtesy Gopa Praturi)|
Carrie Ingalls, the youngest Ingalls daughter, is a very spontaneous and happy-go-lucky character.
"She's really funny, how she needs to know what's happening at all times," Sonenclar says. "I think that she's a really fun character."
Out of all the scenes in the play, Sonenclar likes "Rock" the best. In this scene, it is the first day of school in a one-room school house on the prairie. Carrie, Laura and the rest of the class rock their chairs in musical rhythm. Sonenclar likes this scene because it's active and entertaining.
When not on the road with the show, Sonenclar attends public school in her community north of New York City.
"My teachers are really supportive," she said. "They help me a lot."
While juggling her job as a child star, her education at school and her social life with her friends, Sonenclar also makes time for sports. She plays basketball, kickball, and baseball, which is her favorite. Soneclar is bashful about her early career success.
"I don't really like to talk about my career," she said. "At least not as much as my friends do! My friends really like talking about this."
As the youngest person on the set, Sonenclar says the rest of the cast and crew are nice to her and help her with duties.
"I really like working with them," she said of her show family. "They're so funny and friendly."
The show ends a run in Detroit, Michigan, this week, heading for Tempe, Arizona, then on to Denver, Colorado. And all of this is before Christmas!
For more information about the show, including its tour dates, check out the official Little Houe on the Prairie: The Musical website.
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Gopa Praturi is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.