Saturday, August 9, 2008

Justin's guest post about The Wiggles


So, yea. Em asked me to "guest post" about Ava's and my trip to go see the Wiggles. Because, you know, it's a virtual baby book and whatnot.

So for the first 20 minutes of the ride (it was at the Allstate Arena, which was about an hour drive (or rather was supposed to be, we got nailed by a storm on the trip so it was about an hour 10)), Ava could not be convinced that we were not going to see Wall-E again. So, I gave up and just drove.

Let me back story a little bit - we had originally planned to get 3 tickets for all three of us to go. We couldn't get 3 good seats together to save our lives. We would have been a few rows up in the middle section (they didn't sell tickets to the top section) directly to the right of the stage. We would have been looking longways at the stage, and a lot of profiles of those on stage. No thanks. So, I had Em look for just 2 tickets, and figured just she and Ava could go. So we got the two tickets, dead center, in the back row of the floor. I figured, well, that will work. They'll be good enough, better than the alternate.

At some point in there, Em decided that because I'm the one who watches the Wiggles with Ava more often (Em has very low tolerance for children's television), that I should be the one to go with her. To be honest, I had been kinda sad that I wasn't going to be there to see Ava get to see the Wiggles in person. So, I accepted. Mostly I just felt bad that Em couldn't go.

Back to today. As we walked into the arena, we walked in almost straight across from the seats we would have had, and I started thinking, "oh... those probably wouldn't have been so bad... hmm..." And then we actually got to our seats. I changed my mind. The seats we got were VERY good. I expected "back row of the floor" to be pretty far away... For those who go to our church - when I'm doing slides, where I'm sitting, in comparison to Ronn while he preaches - we were a little bit closer than that. For those who don't go to our church... I don't know... 60 feet? Something like that. Back row, but almost dead center, right in front of the sound board. Excellent seats.

I was impressed that Ava was rather patient waiting for the show to start. I hadn't stopped for any snacks, and Ava started asking for popcorn. There was now way... there were only 2 entrances to the floor section, and they were jam packed with people coming to the floor section (yes, my "emergency route" Spidey sense was tingling severely, but enough of that). There was no way we could go get popcorn. But, as Em said via text message, once the show gets going, she'd totally forget. Which was true.

The first thing that opened the show up with was a couple of the "Wiggley Dancers" doing the whole "get one half of the audience to cheer louder than the other" deal, but were not speaking, but rather using sports whistles to get everything across. It was actually pretty funny - between the way they did it, and the costumes they wore, it was very "Cirque du Soleil" clowny, if you've ever seen that. If not, then disregard. In any event, Ava (and many of the other small children) didn't like it. But once the Wiggles came out, with "Big Red Car", in the appropriately named vehicle, all bets were off.Img_0041

(The pictures make us look further away then what I said above, but that's our crappy camera hard at work. I tried to zoom, but was left with the inevitable blurry garbage pictures)

Mostly she just stared, but at various points she clapped, and did a bit of singing, and towards the end of the night, plenty of dancing (particularly to "Hot Potato", "Do the Monkey", and "Point Your Fingers and Do the Twist").

For what Em mentioned in her last post, during one of the songs the dancers were all on stage, and the wiggles walked up the various rows of the floor, then all came around the back of the floor seats to all go back to the stage from the same side. Anthony came up the row just to our left, and went around behind further to our left, so came within about 15 feet of us or so. Murray came up the row to our right, and so crossed directly behind our row, since we were the back, so crossed within about 1 foot behind us. I pointed him out to Ava as he was about to come by, and tried to get his attention as he passed, but didn't catch it. Murray's looking OLD btw... Jeff came around from the row far to our right, and then likewise came across directly behind our row. I pointed him out to Ava too as he was coming up, and just as he was passing I yelled "Hi Jeff!", and he very briefly paused, gave one of his giant Jeff-smiles, and waved to Ava, again, about 1 foot away. So that was fun. But you know, Ava just stared. I don't think she quite got it.

As far as Greg's replacement, Sam, for those of you out there who might at some point have followed the Disney TV show, Sam was often on the show as one of the Wiggley dancers, and was also both "Dapper Dan the Pirate" and more recently "Professor Singalottasonga". Oh, and honestly, Sam is a much better singer than Greg, but sounds (and looks on stage) fairly similar. Also for those who have seen the TV show as far too often as myself, the Wiggley Dancer regulars (and pirate regulars) Benny and Katarina were there as well. Benny's stinking hilarious on stage, btw - 200% energy.

NOTE: Yes, I realize I'm a huge dork-nerd for knowing the names of the songs and the names of the performers and all of that but gimme a break I watch with Ava! Yes I had fun I admit it leave me alone!

OK, this is already WAY too long of a post, but I wanted to add without detail that I thought it was pretty fun that they left some good room for ad lib (at one point leaving Jeff, who was supposed to be sleeping, cracking up on stage), and also throwing in some stuff that only the parents would get (for example Murray needing to "make sure his guitar was working" by, lights down to spotlight and disco ball, playing the opening riff to "Stairway to Heaven").

OK too much post. Justin, out. You can stop laughing at me now.