Yo Gabba Gabba at the Comerica Theatre Last Afternoon

Yo Gabba Gabba Live
Comerica Theatre in Phoenix
Saturday, December 4, 2010

I haven't been to one of these afternoon kids shows before, so I'm not sure if there are generally so many indie-looking dudes with beards ecstatically singing along with with a song called "Get the Sillies Out" at the Comerica Theatre when Dora the Explorer Live! comes to town, but for eighty minutes or so yesterday, that unlikely scenario came true before my eyes.

Yo Gabba Gabba Live: There's a Party in Your City! is quite a production, with the actual DJ Lance Rock leading the costumed cast around the stage while songs from the show blare from the speakers and a giant digital screen provides a background.

The show kept moving at a frenetic pace built for pre-schoolers - song! another song! confetti launchers! balloons falling from the ceiling! song! bubbles! - and there were rock concert appropriate lights to fill out the effect. My 3-year-old daughter was transfixed the entire time, pointing to the characters during the peek-a-boo number, dancing along with the instructions and freaking out when Muno (the one from the KIA ad) walked down the aisle near us.

There were fun little surprises: Biz Markie acted as a hip-hop mall santa, placing kids from the expensive seats on his lap and teaching them quick beat-boxing tricks for ten minutes or so, Toubab Krewe played one song about roosters, and Sean McLaughlin from KPHO came out and did a dance in possibly the least interesting celebrity cameo ever.

Parents occasionally showed off their worst tendencies (pushing and shoving to make sure their kid gets an extra balloon, got to touch one of the Gabba Gang, etc), but the kids around me, including my own, seemed to have the best time, listening and dancing and enjoying the afternoon, as someone in a person in a carrot costume rode down a slide to sing about a party in someone's tummy.  They managed to capture what's great about the show and give the all kids in attendance a personal experience. It stings a little for the parents to pay the ticket price for a show like this, but I'm sure my daughter will be talking about the afternoon for months to come.

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