Well, this is a tough one.
My favorite is probably not the first one I wrote. "Stone Soup" has evolved so much over the years and has had a lot of input from multiple actor's and director's interpretations. I like "Stone Soup," and have enjoyed the various iterations of its development. It was the first show that featured my two youngest children when they were very young -- 5 and 6 years old. There will always be a fondness in my heart for "Stone Soup."
Over the years I have been fortunate to have been able to direct everyone of my sixteen Children's Musicals. In fact, none of them were actually written in a vacuum. All of them had a reason to be written and performed. Even the four classroom mini-musicals. They started out as a project for a company that provides reading materials to classrooms in Asia that teach English as a foreign language. They chose famous English language stories as a basis for teaching culture and heritage, as well as entertainment through reading. This company wanted songs to go along with their simplified reader's theater scripts. I was given permission to use the songs for my own purposes, as well. The five stories I wrote songs for were "Chicken Licken," "The Country Mouse and the City Mouse," "Dick Whittington and His Cat," "The Musicians of Bremen," and "Three Billy Goats Gruff."
The great thing about owning the rights to your own work is that you are not bound by any restrictions. Nearly every time I have personally directed one of these mini plays, I have had reason to modify the script and add new songs. If I had a particularly talented cast, I could add more colorful characters and give them more interesting songs to sing. That's how "The Tale of Chicken Licken" and "The Adventures of Dick Whittington" became full-length musicals. I will always love "Whittington." I feel like I wrote some of my best songs for some of my best characters in that one. I always knew that "Dick Whittington" had potential to become a feature length show because of its beginning as an Old English Pantomime. But I was surprised by "The Tale of Chicken Licken." I will have to say, that of all the shows I have done with and for 2nd graders, this has been received the best. The school kids loved it! I guess it was comic enough and very easy to understand. (I really think they loved the costumes the most.)
Well, I have currently been working again on one of the first shows I ever wrote. It started as a Summer Camp production for 8 young children. The first iteration of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" was written for 5-7 year-olds. It had to be very simple. I was so surprised by reactions of that first audience. When the little sheep came on and danced their little dance and shook their little tails, the people were practically "rolling in the aisles" delighted because of the "cute" factor. But I felt sorry for the contrary boy. I felt that he was just misunderstood and should have had a song that told his side of the story. So a few years later, I revisited this show and expanded it to full length and gave the contrary boy is own song, "A View from the Highest Mountain." Of all the songs I have written for Children's Musicals, I think I am most pleased with this one. Who out there has never felt misunderstood or has yearned for a higher perspective? (Writing a pure "stand alone" song within the context of a musical is very difficult.)
"Never Cry Wolf" has so many great memories associated with it. It has been my most performed Musical, with many theater groups using it for a main stage production. It works well for a very large cast with a wide age span, but equally as well for a smaller more homogenous aged group. I have particularly fond memories of when our church group produced it as a two week Summer Camp in 2007. We had a cast of 75 children ranging in age for 2 1/2 to 15. (We even had about an equal ratio of boys to girls -- very unusual in children's theater!) The mothers came out in force to help out on everything from managing the kids to providing cultural enrichment activities such as weaving, spinning wool, eating Greek foods, and building mosaics. Artists appeared out of nowhere to paint the scenery. Women set up shop during rehearsals with their sewing machines to create the costumes. So many women who had been dancers in their early life jumped right in and created and taught the choreography to the kids. The dads even volunteered to build a stage. In the end, the stage would have been too dangerous for our large cast of "little's" to dance on, so we used it to raise the audience providing "stadium" seating and the kids performed on the floor of the gym. We had such a great time during that production. I still hear from families who remember that show and thank me for providing such a great opportunity for their children.
So, if pressed, I would probably have to say that "Never Cry Wolf" is my all-time favorite of my shows. Don't get me wrong, I love each of these stories as if they were my own children. You simply don't pick favorites when you had to work so hard to bring them to life. But "Never Cry Wolf" holds the most great memories for me, probably because I have lived with it the longest.