Chapter 21: More Rehearsals

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The contestants were back at the theater for more rehearsals. Mike was on the stage, singing "Let's Face the Music and Dance" by Irving Berlin.

"There may be trouble ahead
But while there's moonlight and music and love and romance"

"Now fade to spot," Buster told Meena.

"Let's face the music and dance"

"Good. Lower the moon," Buster instructed.

"Coffee?" Miss Crawly offered.

"Thank you, Miss Crawly," Buster said.

Meena pulled the rope that held the moon, but it acted up.

"Okay, that's normal. Just needs a knock," Buster explained.

She knocked on it and the moon started going down.

"See? You're getting it," Buster smiled.

"Before the fiddlers have fled,
Before they ask us to pay the bill, and while we still have that chance
Let's face the music and dance
Soon, we'll be without the moon, humming a different tune - and then..."

"Anyone seen my glass eye? The darn thing keeps popping out," Miss Crawly asked.

That's when Buster took a sip of his coffee and realized her glass eye was in his mouth. He spit it out, it spun around a light, made the lights above fall, made a sandbag fall and hit Pete, then went into Miss Crawly's eye socket.

"You almost killed me, Jumbo!" Mike scolded.

"It wasn't me," Meena said.

"Oh, is that so?" Mike asked.

Then the lights caught on fire. Meena acted fast and grabbed the fire extinguisher.

"Pete?" Buster called.

Then he saw Pete was badly hurt. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital.

"Pete! You're gonna be all right. Okay, just hang in there, buddy," Buster yelled as the ambulance drove off.

Then the frog group started storming away from the theater, yelling at each other.

"Ricki? Kai?" Buster called then asked Howie, "Why aren't you guys rehearsing?"

"We're through. They said I'm an intolerable egomaniac. I don't even know what that means," Howie sobbed.

Buster came back inside to see Miss Crawly and Meena finishing putting the fire out.

"All right. We're two acts down. Give me some good news, Miss Crawly," Buster stated.

"Oh, it's not as bad as it looks.
Uh!" Miss Crawly said, fell through the stage, then responded, "Oopsie-Daisy."

"Meena, how would you like to re-audition for the show?" Buster offered.

"Really? Well, yeah," Meena answered.

"Great," Buster smiled, helping Miss Crawly.

"I mean, no," Meena corrected.

"What?" Buster questioned.

"I-- I mean, yes, I can sing. But no, I-- I get so nervous, and-- I-- I can't do it. I mean, I would totally do it, but-- no, I-- no," Meena rambled.

"I'm gonna take that as a maybe," Buster decided.

Then he noticed the red pandas giggling and running toward their rehearsal room.

"Great! Look, they're back. Uh, we're gonna come back to this, Meena," Buster said.

He ran to them and stopped their music, getting their attention.

"Listen, guys, forget what I said before. You are very talented. Please, join the show, okay? Yes? No?" he replied, realized they probably couldn't understand him, then remarked, "Oh,"

He pulled out a translation book and started reading out loud. But apparently what he said was very insulting. The one in green slapped him across the face.

"What? Hey, no, no, no. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Don't go, don't go!" Buster begged as they stormed out.

Rosita started laying out sheets of paper with dance steps when Gunter walked in.

"Oh, what is this for?" he asked.

"Now, we use this to follow the steps," Rosita answered then started singing and danced where she needed to go.

"Goddess on the mountaintop
Burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love"

Before she could continue, her son, Caspar, came running in, messing up her work.

"Caspar! Caspar, no!" Rosita exclaimed.

"How about this? Ha-ha!" Gunter laughed.

"Come on. What did I tell you?" Rosita said as she held her squirming piglet, then explained, "I'm so sorry. He had a fever, and it was too late to get a sitter, plus my usual sitter is in the competition, so--"

Then Caspar jumped out of her arms then continued running around.

"Well, you seem fine now," Rosita told her piglet.

Then Gunter and Caspar started messing with the papers while Rosita struggled to get them back into place.

Meanwhile, Ash was disagreeing with the song that Buster chose for her: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

"I am not singing this," Ash declined.

"What's not to like? You're a female, and you're a teenager. This song was made for you," Buster said, dancing to the music.

"Wow. It's like you can see inside my tiny teenage mind," Ash replied sarcastically.

"I know, right? You just gotta add some moves and a little bit of..." Buster started then began singing.

"Hey I just met you
And this is crazy
But here's my number
So call me maybe"

"Go for it!" he encouraged.

"Oh, you mean like this?" Ash asked then finished the rest of it.

"Try to chase me
But here's my number
So call me maybe"

"There you go. You're a natural," Buster exclaimed.


A/N So rehearsals are a little haywire due to two acts down, but things should turn around.

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