Shai the elf, a newly-appointed yard elf, tries her best to clean up a human’s butterfly garden. But when she accidentally pulls up a milkweed, she becomes responsible for a butterfly egg and its needs for a new home! With the help of a feisty fairy, Shai works to protect and nurture her new caterpillar friend through metamorphosis and onto a high-flying happy ending. This new musical comedy is the latest work from award-winning songwriter Lena Pennino-Smith, the same artist behind such LICM favorites as “Happy as Clams: The Musical” and “The Princess Frog.” With a 90 percent decline in monarch butterfly populations over the last 20 years, this musical encourages audiences of all ages to plant beautiful milkweed: everything our local butterflies need to transform from adorable eggs to soaring sensations!
Music and Book by Lena Pennino-Smith
Arrangements by Brian Smith
BEHIND THE SCENES: After a year of writing, script reading and more writing, “My Butterfly” premiered at The Long Island Children’s Museum on May 16, 2019 to adoring crowds of school children. There are 30 planned performances!
“I was overwhelmed by the response to this production,” said Lena Pennino-Smith, a Greenlawn resident, who wrote the book and music for the show. (Lena’s husband Brian helped arranged the music with Willard and Edgar Meeks.) “From the first performance, the kids loved it! It is truly interactive theatre: encouraging kids and families to clap, dance, march and even fly butterflies during the performance.”
“My Butterfly” was written to advocate on behalf of the Monarch Butterflies, whose population has been in decline. The show encourages children and their families to plant the Monarch’s only host plant: milkweed. Lena and her family fell in love with more than a dozen monarchs they raised in 2018 in their yard and (when the caterpillars were big enough) in butterfly houses in their yard! They plan to continue the tradition each year! “I hope every family on Long Island can find a sunny place in their hearts (and yards) to plant milkweed …which is not a weed but a beautiful perennial flower!” said Lena.