Before she first discovered theater, Bonnie Gleicher used to frolic and sing in the woods of her native Armonk. As a middle and high school student in the Byram Hills district, she performed on Broadway, toured the United States, and wrote her first songs. “Once I started, I knew this was my path,” she says.
Her path led her to write the music and lyrics of Addy & Uno, a family-friendly musical puppet show about “disability, friendship, and kindness.” Heartfelt and upbeat, the musical follows Uno, an autistic child with a passion for problem solving, and the group of friends who rally around him as he tries to win a math competition.
Addy & Uno is adapted from the Realabilities comic book series by developmental psychologist Nava R. Silton, PhD. The series takes a strong anti-bullying stance, emphasizing that kindness is easy, rewarding, and always an available choice — a moral Gleicher’s musical also brings home. “We focus on the strengths of characters with disabilities and not just on limitation or struggle,” Dr. Silton says. “To see it onstage is so special, and of course, with Bonnie’s beautiful music, it’s exceptional.”
“When I heard this story, I instantly felt for these kids,” says Gleicher. “I knew I had to be the one to write it.” And she did, on a very short schedule — all the songs were done in just one month.
After a sold-out workshop premiere run at the 14th Street Y last summer, the show moved uptown to Theatre Row on 42nd Street, where it will run until at least Labor Day. With a 50-minute runtime at noon on Saturdays, it’s a strong fit for a family trip to the city.
“I hope that people come away from this show wanting to make a new friend, someone they wouldn’t have otherwise, and to see the courage in people who rise up in spite of their obstacles,” Gleicher says. “Writing music and seeing its impact on people of all ages and abilities is the greatest joy for me.”