We have! My girls just had the experience of an admittedly short lifetime. Thanks to the wonderful folks at Koba Entertainment, Tee and Kay got to meet the Backyardigans (well, Uniqua, Austin, Pablo, and Tasha) backstage at the Backyardigans Live: Sea Deep in Adventure show this weekend in Vancouver.
Tee was over the moon and just a little in awe of all the characters. Before we went backstage I was concerned that Kay might be afraid (like when she met Santa), but the Backyardigans were really friendly and patient with the little ones who were a bit unsure at first. Kay warmed up quickly, though her favourite part EVER was the fiber optic light wand thingie. In retrospect, I probably should have waited to buy that after the meet and greet session!
After the ultra cool backstage visit, we found our seats and settled in for the show. Cue lots of excited gasps and cheers when the Backyardigans came out on stage.
In Sea Deep in Adventure, Pablo and Tyrone are Harbour Rescue Officers. They receive a distress call from Doll who’s looking for her brother Finn. You only get one guess as to what species Doll and Finn are! Fortunately, they run into Austin the submarine pilot who takes them under the waves to help Doll.
The undersea jellyfish dance was my favourite scene. I’m definitely not an expert, but based on my four seasons of watching So You Think You Can Dance, I thought the dancers were really good, especially Kelp.
Along the way they run into mermaids Tasha and Uniqua who agree to help, because that’s what mermaids do. They discover that Finn is trapped in an undersea garden.
The antagonist in this underwater adventure is Octavia the Octopus who’s a bit OCD about the state of her garden. She wants to keep all the seaweed for her beauty cream and can’t stand garbage or trespassers in her garden.
Octavia discovers the Backyardigans hiding in her garden and imprisons them in a sea cave. They discover Finn has been locked up in there too, and Doll and Finn joyfully reunite. Luckily, Austin finds a convenient lever that opens the door and they attempt to sneak away, but Octavia catches them again!
Tasha suggests a race. If Octavia wins, the Backyardigans will return to their prison. If Tyrone riding on Doll wins, Octavia will let them go. The race is neck and neck, but Tyrone inches ahead to win in the end. The Backyardigans are kind to Octavia in her defeat, and it’s at this point that she learns how to be a friend and decides to mend her ways.
The show ends with Pablo, Tyrone, Uniqua, Austin, and Tasha back in their backyard and singing the theme song. All the kids (and not a few adults) joined in.
The Orpheum is an old movie theatre, and I love the intimate feel. However, the seats are not as steeply tiered as most modern venues, so Kay couldn’t properly see the stage either sitting in her seat or standing on the floor. She ended up sitting on my lap most of the time, and it wasn’t until we were leaving after the show that I saw there were booster cushions available. Oh well. The other unfortunate thing was all the moving of the props on and off stage during the performance which I found kind of distracting.
Overall, the show and the music did a good job of capturing the familiar, gentle feel of a Backyardigans episode. I appreciated the focus on the story and the songs as opposed to relying on special effects to engage my children. To be honest, hubs and I found it a bit slow, but we didn’t go for our entertainment. What mattered to me was whether my kids enjoyed it. I do think it was too long for 18 month old Kay’s attention span as she got pretty fidgety in the second half, but it was just right for my almost 4 year old. She had a great time at the show and can’t wait to go again. If you’ve got some Backyardigans fans at home, don’t hesitate to bring them. They’ll love it!
Disclosure: I received media tickets for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.