BWW Review: DANIEL TIGERS NEIGHBORHOOD LIVE! A Terrific Time at Crouse Hinds Theater

BWW Review: DANIEL TIGERS NEIGHBORHOOD LIVE! A Terrific Time at Crouse Hinds Theater
The cast of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Photo courtesy of the production.

This past weekend, for two performances only, the touring production of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live! entertained many families at Crouse Hinds Theater in Syracuse, New York. The production was just pure fun and a wonderful way to introduce young children to live theater. The music, the lights, the sets, and the costumes brought the familiar character of Daniel Tiger and all of his neighborhood friends to life.

Jeremy Dobrish's book brings focuses on the importance of caring and giving to those in Daniel's neighborhood. As the audience goes on adventures with Daniel to do something nice for each of his friends in the neighborhood, we see O the Owl, Miss Elaina, Katerina Kittycat, Prince Wednesday, Teacher Harriet, Daniel's parents, Baby Margaret (a puppet designed by Geppetto Studios), King Friday, Mr. McFeely, Baker Aker, and of course Trolley. Daniel Tiger manages to do something nice for all of his friends in the neighborhood and all of his friends join in on doing nice things for others. In the end, King Friday is pleased with the kindness in the neighborhood and proclaims it "Neighbor Day!"

Director and choreographer Jen Rapp brings together a lively and entertaining group of actors to portray these beloved characters. Those tasked to take on multiple characters do so with considerable ease. Isabel Rubio's detailed costumes support the transformations.

The music composed by Voodoo Highway Music & Post, a full- service audio post-production house, is familiar to those avid fans of the television show and the musical numbers, directed by David John Madore, are a highlight of this show. Accompanied by pre-recorded music, the actors sing familiar songs such as "Big Helper in Your Family," "Do Something Nice for your Neighbor," "Grownups Come Back," "When Something Seems Bad," "When You Wait," and "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."

The entertaining musical numbers prompted many children to sing and dance along in their seats at the performance I attended, including my four-year-old daughter. As the cast sang and danced to "High five, Low five" the children in the audience were having a blast. John E. D. Bass' lighting design is particularly instrumental in the number about flying in a rocket. Lights, representing stars, illuminated the theater, which sent the children's imaginations soaring. They felt like they were part of the show at that moment.

David Miller's scenic design brings Daniel's entire neighborhood to life, including Daniel's school, the Bakery, Music Man Stan's Music Shop, and Daniel's house. The set pieces easily transitioned from scene to scene, which helped keep the audience's attention.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Live! is a wonderful family production to attend. The magic of a live event and the familiar stories will spark imagination, creativity, and most importantly put a wonderful smile on a child's face as they watch Daniel and his friends in the adorable production.

Running Time: One hour and fifteen minutes with one fifteen-minute intermission.

DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGBORHOOD LIVE! performed at the Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater in Syracuse, New York for two performances only on March 26, 2017. For tickets and information on the touring production of DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD LIVE! click here. For information on upcoming events at the Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater click here.

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