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BWW Reviews: DOKTOR KABOOM: LIVE WIRE! THE ELECTRICITY TOUR at The Kennedy Center Family Theater Gives Energizing Education

All adults of varying generations will wax poetic about the things they miss from when they were kids - Saturday morning cartoons, listening to the radio at night, and properly educational programming. Those who miss the latter may have found something spectacular to see, in the form of the new Kennedy Center-commissioned children's show DOKTOR KABOOM: LIVE WIRE! THE ELECTRICITY TOUR.

Doktor Kaboom, written and performed by US Army veteran David Epley, is a klutzy but lovable German scientist with a lot of information to share. He builds robots, he tests out new power sources, and, most importantly, he can capitvate an audience like no other, and keep the energy up from beginning to end. He is, as he puts it, someone with awesome hair, clothes (a more colorful Dr. Horrible-esque ensemble), and a love for science.

But more than that, you can tell that he just loves to perform. Epley's style is improvisational, and entirely dependent at times on his volunteers. His accent is distinctively German, but not enough for things to be muddled or difficult for children to understand. He combines upscale production value with the in-the-moment feel of a street performance, and it assuredly works. This show is just fun.

Keep in mind, it's not just fun for the kids. Adults were laughing just as hard, since Epley makes sure to include jokes and references just for them. When he teaches a lesson, it is for everyone in the seat. When he wants a call and response, the adults will get chastized if they do not participate. Science and the lessons Doktor Kaboom teaches in this show are meant to be for everyone.

Right from the start, Doktor Kaboom mentions safe science. He gives his volunteers "bubbles", "goggles of science" and "the shield of safety" in order to cement that this is how you should experiment. He did this so well that a child in the audience was concerned, as he turned on a Tesla coil, that he wasn't being safe enough. But more than that, he also calls for confidence. He encourages each volunteer to emphatically confirm that he or she is a smart student of science, and tells his audience that cell phones during a performance should not happen.

To further describe this show would possibly make you want to skip it and get the DVD, but you'd be missing out. This show is what you want live children's theatre to be. So children of all ages, head down to see DOKTOR KABOOM before it's too late. You will leave enlightened, happy, and wondering just what else could power your house.

DOKTOR KABOOM: LIVE WIRE! THE ELECTRICITY TOUR runs through October 12th at The Kennedy Center Family Theater. The runtime of the show is 60 minutes. For more information, visit the production page. Photo by Martin Albert.



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