In the theme song of the long-running kids television show VeggieTales, there’s a line that goes “There’s never-ever-ever-ever-ever been a show like VeggieTales.” They’re absolutely right about that one–and the same holds true for the ongoing VeggieTales Live tour traveling across the nation.
“VeggieTales Live! Little Kids Do Big Things” has been delighting audiences for over a month–and the funny musical with an amazing message runs through November.
I took in the show recently at Penn State University’s York, Pennsylvania campus with my children. We enjoyed the performance thoroughly and and judging by the reaction from the huge crowd on hand, that feeling was mutual. VeggieTales Live! Little Kids Do Big Things is a celebration of God’s love. Children learn that with help and faith, even little kids can do big things. While that message is conveyed, kids and parents alike are treated to some of the most popular VeggieTales silly songs. From “The Hairbrush Song” to “I Love My Lips” to “Big Things Too,” kids laugh, dance, and sing. Throughout the arena smiles were everywhere.
VeggieTales icons Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber are stars of the show along with Junior Asparagus. That vegetable medley (yes, I know tomatoes are technically fruits) is complemented with a side of other VeggieTales stars. The produce is not alone however. Some great human performers join the veggies on stage and the group really shines. If you like talented singers and dancers, you’ll love this show.
Charlotte Picard is delightful. This supremely talented vocalist hits all the notes as she sings several songs and acts as something of a host through the story. Picard’s voice is pleasing to the ear and her stage presence can be appreciated by all ages. Along with Picard, Lana Neuman is particularly good. Neuman delivers on all fronts. Her dancing and acting during the “Barbara Manatee” number is a crowd pleaser.
Picard, Neuman, and company take us through many stories within the story. Costume changes and a projector screen backdrop help to make scenes of pirates, monsters, and even the feuding Macaroni and Cheese families come alive.
The VeggieTales are their usual comical selves. Kids are treated to hearing the actual voices of the characters that they’ve grown to love through the TV series. Larry and Bob are a sight to behold in person. After all, it’s not every day you get to see a seven foot cucumber or a jumbo tomato dance and sing.
While VeggieTales Live exceeded all expectations for me, perhaps the best reviewers of such a show would be children. So I asked them. When I pressed my 4-year old son on what his favorite part was–he didn’t hesitate. “I liked the part with Frankenstein’s monster and Godzilla,” he said. As a Halloween lover, (he dressed as Bob the Tomato a couple of Halloweens ago) it’s no surprise he went this direction. However, his next comment about “God Is Bigger Than The Boogie Man” reminded me about why VeggieTales is such a blessing. “God can beat all those monsters because he’s bigger than anything bad,” he said. Amen.
My seven- year-old daughter had a hard time choosing her favorite part because she simply loved every minute of it and was bummed when the show ended. Time flies when you’re having fun rings true for this show. “I loved Barbara Manatee and the Pants song,” she said laughing. “The show was hysterical.” That it was. But, again, the overall message wasn’t lost on her either. “God loves us very much,” she said confidently.
All in all VeggieTales Live! Little Kids Do Big Things is worth the ticket prices and the travel. As I write this piece days later, my kids are still talking about it. They want to see their silly friends again. Children are embracing the values of sharing, telling the truth, and forgiveness. Vegetables are doing God’s work and to paraphrase Larry, “that’s pretty cool”.
So often we hear of children not getting enough vegetables. VeggieTales Live serves up all children need and then some. In theater, the old adage is to “leave them wanting more.” When you can pull off leaving kids wanting more vegetables, you know you’re doing something special.
For the most up to date tour information, visit www.veggietales.com/live.