The Doodlebops Together Forever Tour has shows in Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton. Chances are, if you are the parent of a young child in New Brunswick, you have Doodlebops tickets tucked into a drawer or stuck behind a fridge magnet.
Drawing on the success of the popular Canadian TV series, the high-energy live stage show from Koba Entertainment brings siblings Deedee, Rooney and Moe to the Maritimes for the first time. The cross-Canada tour that kicked off this week in Peterborough features a new cast, though you won’t be able to tell. They have the same makeup, eye-catching costumes and puffy pink, orange and blue wigs.
Carl Lenox, co-creator of the TV series and music director for the live show, said during a phone interview from his home in Elora Ont., that the audience can expect an exciting rock show.
“When you go, you will see a mosh pit fully made up of three- to five-year-olds,” he said jokingly. “It’s the greatest thing. It brings such joy to your heart to see all the little kids come up and sing and dance right up at the front of the stage.”
The Doodles, as Lenox fondly refers to them, will perform some new tunes and plenty of old favourites, including Get on The Bus. Other big hits include Wobbly Whoopsie, Queen for a Day, The Bird Song and Together Forever, a 2004 classic from the first season of the TV series.
Not to be outdone by the special effects and light displays at grown-up concerts, this tour boasts mega-screen projection technology, a modular, movable set and state-of-the-art lighting.
Patti Caplette, producer for Koba, describes it as a visual fiesta.
“The sophistication of our technology is very, very high. It’s seen-unseen. The technology is not large and ostentatious,” she said. “It’s subtle magic.”
Caplette said that while the television series is aimed at two- to four-year-olds, the stage version appeals to older brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents.
The Doodlebops are wildly popular, something Lenox attributes to their chemistry and the connection they have with fans.
“The Doodles really love performing, and it shows. You can tell. You can’t fool a child,” he said. “You can see that it’s honest and they really do enjoy performing. It’s a magical thing.”
Lenox, 51, who has also worked on the children’s series Rolie Polie Olie, the Babar and Pippi Longstocking films and a show called Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse, said the great singing and dancing on The Doodlebops has helped the series become a fan favourite.
The TV show was born in 2003 when Cookie Jar Entertainment CEO Michael Hirsh called Lenox and told him he wanted to create a show about a rock band for kids.
“We just got together on his porch and hammered out some ideas, brought in some other members of the team and, before we knew it, we had a look and a feel and some names, and The Doodlebops were born.”
The series airs all over the world. The Toronto-based trio of pink, orange and blue rockers have appeared on the Today Show twice and sold out the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden three nights in a row, two years running, said Lenox.
Lenox revealed this week that the TV series is undergoing a major change. Season 4 of The Doodlebops, set to air in early 2010, will be animated instead of live-action.
“It’s great news,” said Lenox. “It’s just something that will give us a little more reach around the world.”
The three actors who play The Doodlebops on TV – Lisa Lennox as Deedee, Chad McNamara as Rooney and Jonathan Wexler as Moe – will provide the voices for the new cartoon, now in production.
Lenox is working on 52 new songs for the cartoon version of The Doodlebops, keeping with their themes of caring, sharing, co-operation and sticking together.
Lucky for him, he has creative consultants in his four grandchildren.
“When I have a song that I’m not sure about, all I have to do is play it for them and in 10 seconds you can tell. They either light right up and start jumping around and dancing or they just kind of go ‘I don’t know if I like that one Pop Pop,’ ” he said. “They can’t not be honest.”
The Doodlebops Together Forever tour will be at Saint John’s Imperial Theatre Feb. 18 and 19 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Moncton’s Capitol Theatre March 7 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and The Playhouse in Fredericton March 8 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and March 9 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $26.50. Many performances are sold out but new shows have been added, so check the box office for ticket availability.
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