The Book About Young ‘Brown Weirdos’ Is Finally Becoming A Musical And We Can’t Contain Our Excitement
Back in 2017, Celia C. Pérez introduced the world to 12-year-old Malú, a Mexican-American punk teenager, in her book “The First Rule of Punk.” Two years later, the critically acclaimed novel is turning into a musical. This past week, the Children’s Theatre Company, the nation’s largest theater for young people, announced it would be adapting the book into a musical.
“The First Rule of Punk” received critical acclaim when it was released for its representation of a Mexican-American tween.
The book is a coming of age story around the life of Malú, a 12-year-old Latina who has a passion for rock and roll, skateboarding and zines. As Malú enters a new middle school, she breaks the dress code, clashes with the cool girls at school and lets her mother down through it all. Yet through it all, Malú’s dad, who lives thousands of miles away, reminds her to never forget the first rule of punk, be yourself.
In response, Malú stands up to the school’s strict administration by taking the high road. She forms a punk rock band of misfits just like her. This becomes a way of expressing herself and a reflection of self-growth.
Celia C. Pérez says she’s excited for a whole new audience to experience Malú’s journey as many others already have.
Perez published zines (self-published works) for over 20 years because of her own longtime love of punk music. Zines play a big part of the punk culture and were often a form of self-expression.
This passion drove her to create the character of Malú who she says came from her own self-interest in “identity and culture.’ Now a whole new audience will get to experience “The First Rule of Punk” with the new musical production.
“It’s such an honor to have ‘The First Rule of Punk’ adapted into a musical by the nation’s leading multi-generational theatre, Children’s Theatre Company and to have BMG and their catalog of iconic artists involved with the production,” Perez said, according to Broadway World. “I am excited for this story to reach new audiences and look forward to seeing it come to life on a stage.”
“The First Rule of Punk” has already left an impressionable mark on young audiences trying to find themselves.
Books have a great power to teach us about perspectives different from ours and at times teach us about ourselves too. Many have taken to social media to express their gratitude for “The First Rule of Punk” and what the book has meant to them finding themselves.
“I saw so much of myself in Malú and I’m so excited about this!!! It’s honestly one of the only books with a Hispanic character that made me feel seen and represented. I love @CeliaCPerez so much for this story,” one Twitter user said.
It’s no surprise the novel has brought people of all ages together and now it will take it’s next step as a musical. We cannot wait to see even more people get to hear the story of Malú.
“I love this book and its themes of navigating cultural collisions, familial tensions, and the struggle to find one’s own voice,” Peter C. Brosius, CTC’s Artistic Directors, said in a statement. “It is a book that leaps off the page with its energy, wit, and truth. I cannot wait to partner with BMG and bring this book to theatrical life with the drive and power of the punk music world.”