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A new live kids show on the block

Scott Schultz just wants to be a kid again.

Scott Schultz just wants to be a kid again.

He’s not necessarily tempted by the total dependence, jobless work day or sleep ad infinitum. For Schultz, it’s all about the entertainment, uninhibitedly singing and dancing like no one’s watching, even if they are.

That’s why he, along with Christian Jacobs, decided to create kids television program Yo Gabba Gabba! (Treehouse TV) that could provide education and energy for kids, and fun for parents too.

“Instead of plopping the kids in front of the television, maybe mom and dad would want to sit down and dance with them,” says Schultz.

The adult appeal is in YGG!’s retro, colour-soaked aesthetic and indie rock, hip hop and dance music compositions that boast the importance of brushing teeth, sharing and appreciating art.

Of course music in general is nothing new to children’s programming, territory dominated by Beatles-esque Australian supergroup The Wiggles.

But Schultz said he isn’t trying to compete with the group that inspired him. Instead, he wants to offer a different flavour.

“You can call it the Neapolitan ice cream of flavours,” says Schultz.

“There’s so much music my and Christian’s kids really respond to, where the lyrics just aren’t appropriate.

“Being musicians and having a real love of music, we thought there’s a lot we could bring to the table of preschool kids programming that’s not being brought.”

Now, after two seasons and receiving two Emmy nominations, Schultz and Jacobs are taking their vision to the road with Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!: There’s a Party in My City!, a music, dance and animation stage show Schultz likens to a concert experience.

“The TV show is more of a fun, engaging narrative you watch and want to see what happens next.

“The live show (lets you) jump up and down and scream, dance to your favourite song, dress up like your favourite character and let loose a little bit,” he says, adding he thinks the versions can run independent of each other.

The live version will see orange-clad series regular DJ Lance Rock at its helm, with frequent show guest Biz Markie teaching beat boxing skills and an appearance by Jacobs-fronted California rock band The Aquabats.

In past, YGG! the program has featured acts like Of Montreal, The Ting Tings, MGMT, The Shins and Sean Kingston, and Schultz says audiences can expect a secret band appearance at the live show. But he’s not going to spoil the surprise.

“We’ll have to just leave you with the mystery of who will show up.”

Catch Yo Gabba Gabba! Live

• There’s a Party in My City! at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre on Tuesday and Wednesday.

• For more informartion on the show and tour, visit www.yogabbagabbalive.com

 
 
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