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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

"Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock" Promises 'Different Approach' To Nickelodeon's Hit Preschool TV Show

It’s not like Bubble Guppies brass expect young audiences to believe the objects of their affection are actually submerged on stage.

Audience participation will be key when Bubble Guppies take the stage March 12 at Kiwanis Community Theatre.

Call it conception, not deception.

“You don’t really want to fool them … You want to fuel them with the opportunity to use their imagination,” Patti Caplette, artistic director of Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock, told the Sault Star. “So it’s a different approach. You sort of guide them along with a few devices and they go, ‘Yeah, I can see that now.’ It’s like looking at a picture with different kinds of glasses on.”

Based on Nickelodeon’s hit preschool TV show that premiered in 2011, the live tour will visit Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada on Sunday 12th March 2017 at Kiwanis Community Theatre.

Having the cast, acting out the underwater adventures of a group of merperson preschoolers, appear to be plunged was a “very interesting artistic challenge,” especially conveying the illusion of characters “continuously” floating, Caplette told the Sault Star in a recent telephone interview from Winnipeg.

“So we devised ways they could stand and move their back legs so that their tails would constantly be in motion and their arms are kind of floating about,” she said, adding Koba Entertainment’s task was made that much easier with the recruitment of Bubble Guppies creators and writers Jonny Belt and Robert Skull.

“It was a lot of exploratory movement, but I think it does really resonate that they are guppies floating in their watery world.”

The show revolves around a band member gone AWOL. When the Bubble Guppies are getting ready to play, a special band member goes missing and the show can’t go on. With help from Mr. Grouper and Molly, Gil and the other characters embark on a “musical expedition” as they search for their friend.

The character Rock Lobster has been created especially for the live event.

Dubbed by Caplette as the Bubble Guppies’s “greatest fan ever,” Rock Lobster is an integral component of the show’s emphasis on audience interaction.

“He kind of comes out of the audience as one of the fans and gets to interact with the audience in saying, ‘Well, what should happen next?’ Or, ‘Did you see Bubble Puppy?’ It’s very much that kind of interaction.”

Some songs are specific to the stage show, but producers took as many tunes “as possible” from the TV show.

“They fit beautifully,” said Caplette, who, before turning to choreography, was a dancer for more than 15 years with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

The stage show — one hour and 20-minutes in duration — uses computer-generated imagery (CGI), which encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images with big screens, and takes four to five hours to set up.

“It’s tricky, because it still means for an 11 .m. show, our crew is there by 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning,” Caplette said, adding Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock will have ample adult appeal.

“I think even more so. They get a double whammy of not only enjoying the professional singing and dancing and theatrics of the stage. But they get the double whammy of seeing the brilliant, smile smile of delight on their children’s faces. I think they come off really, really a winner.”

If you go:

What: Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock;

When: Sunday, March 12, 1 p.m.;

Where: Kiwanis Community Theatre;

Tickets: In person at Kiwanis Community Theatre Box Office, Station Mall, by phone at (705) 945-7299 or online at

Full tour information can be found at

Additional source:
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