Ben Evans, Jessie Alagna and Immanuel Guest in
Diary of A Worm, A Spider and A Fly.
Photo-Stage One


Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly

Book, Music and Lyrics by Joan Cushing
Adapted from the books Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, & Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin
Director/Choreographer: Matthew Brennan

Review by Emily Newton

Entire Contents Copyright 2014 by Emily Newton. All rights Reserved.

The StageOne production of Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly is a lively performance for children that would make for a complete afternoon with the family especially when accompanied by the “StageOne Family Theatre Performance Guide” publication. The pamphlet includes biographies of the performers, and an interview with Doreen Cronin, the author of the Children’s book that was brought to life in this production, telling the story of a young earthworm, who dreams big! The publication also includes activities and fun facts for the young audience members, such as:

  • Amazing bug facts
  • What is a worm’s worth
  • How to make “worm and dirt pudding cups”
  • How to make your own worm farm
  • How to write your own journal

The charming story is told through the journal entries of the characters of Worm, Spider, and Fly. Between the journal entries were musical numbers meant to give basic information of arthropods and other creepy crawlies. The musical numbers bounced between the genres of 1920s jazz and modern day hip-hop. The jazzy numbers seemed to fit the flip flapping of the flies and spiders, making sense of the themes and information given in the show. However the quick tempo of the hip-hop music made it hard to catch the fun facts being thrown out in the songs. The most enduring and effective moments of the performance came in the slowest and softest moments when the young bugs shared their greatest fears: big boots, boys with glass jars, flyswatters and vacuum cleaners.

The costumes were brightly colored and engaging, giving just enough suggestion of the bugs physical appearance, while leaving room for the children’s imaginations to fill in the rest. Yet, the overall physical shape of the piece would have benefited from a greater embodiment of specific bug-like physicality by the actors portraying the critters. While the spider did have 8 legs, the fly did have wings, and the worm was long and slimy, true spider, fly or worm like movement was lacking. There was no lack however, of the children’s laughter and reactions to the endless gags that featured smelly trash, yucky dirt, toilets and the worm’s rear end as the butt of the jokes. Altogether, the piece provided a pleasant afternoon for young children and their families, particularity when the performance is paired with the informative “StageOne Family Theatre Performance Guide” and chocolate worm pudding cups!


Diary of A Worm, A Spider, and A Fly

Friday, May 16, 10:00am

Stage One Family Theatre
Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
Bomhard Theater
501 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202