Monday, October 31, 2011

Mini Review: Yo Gabba Gabba at Ovens Auditorium

"Yo Gabba Gabba," my toddler's favorite TV show, rolled into Charlotte Friday and Saturday for four shows at Ovens Auditorium. The kids would've probably been satisfied with a repeat of 2010's "It's a Party in Your City," but DJ Lance Rock and the gang switched things up enough to keep "It's Time to Dance" new for parents that witnessed last year's tour.

One of our favorite changes was seeing more Leslie Hall (pictured below with DJ Lance and Brobee), the comedic female rapper and musical guest at last year's Charlotte show. She sang and danced on three songs assuming the Jack Black role for "New Friends" (a song from his "Gabba" episode) and followed it with "All My Friends are Different." Our son, who loves Hall, surprised us and cracked up some folks seated nearby by singing along loudly with the latter.

Another new highlight was Muno (the one-eyed red monster who Kia features in its Sorento commercials) rapping "I Love Bugs" with a cast of giant dancing butterflies, worms and other crawly critters (pictured). It was one of the most visually impressive segments and that song (which recalls L.L. Cool J's "I Need Love") is a little bit newer than some of the expected tunes that have appeared on the show since its first season.

Of course there were fan favorites like "Party in My Tummy" complete with dancing carrots and green beans and interactive games such as "Get the Sillies Out" and "Hold Still" which had two, three, and four-year-olds wiggling in the aisles. Familiar segments from the show included Super Music Friends and Dancey Dance Time. Indie dance duo Koo Koo Kanga Roo had kids yelling favorite colors during its one song set. Saturday's Dancey Dance was led by O.A.R.'s Marc Roberge, in town to play NC Music Factory's Halloween festivities (Friday KISS 95.1's Otis from "The O Show" led the Disco Roll).

Veteran rapper Biz Markie's instructional "Biz's Beat of the Day" was one of last year's most popular bits. He switched it up by creating a mini dance party. He welcomed a group of children on stage to beat box then dance as he spun old school hip-hop. The kids dug Biz, but they also dug tiny bits of confetti that rained down on the audience as seasonal falling leaves and snow just as other parts of the state were seeing the real thing. By the end the little girl behind us was picking it out of my husband's hair.

If you or your child is a fan, there's really nothing better than the Gabba Gang bouncing through your favorite songs and games from TV in person. We would go back again and again as long as our kids are interested. The only thing we and others around us complained about was a lengthy intermission. I imagine it allows for a potty break, but its hard to explain to a two-year-old where Brobee and Foofa disappeared to.

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