The Enchanting Ivy

We hosted something rather special at Malvern Books on Saturday: a multi-media evening of Ivy-themed entertainment. The book Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase has been described as “an epic surreal ear movie musical” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with a distinctly Austin twist.” It’s an illustrated story acted out with music, sound effects, and dialogue—and it’s a whole lot of fun.


Brian and friend

The book and accompanying show were created by Austin couple Brian Beattie (above right, the book’s author) and Valerie Fowler, Ivy’s illustrator extraordinaire. As well as performing some of the musical numbers from the book, Brian introduced us to Ivy’s pre-story in the form of an epic (and very funny) poem, “The Back Story Ballad of Ivy Wire.” Brian was accompanied by Kathy McCarty (above left), who plays the character of Celia Wire. Brian and Valerie also debuted their charming new Crankie Show (see video #4 below), in which Brian plays a song from the book while Valerie “cranks” along an illustrated scroll, creating a kind of mesmerizing low-tech video.

It was a magical evening, and the crowd found Ivy and pals to be utterly enthralling company. The footage below will give you a better sense of just what goes on in the wonderful world o’ Ivy…