If you’re under the age of 6, you probably don’t need to be introduced to the Backyardigans, but since our reader’s survey tells us our readers are a little older than that, you might want to take your kids over to the Crown Theatre, July 11-12, to meet some of their favorite cartoon friends. The Backyardigans will come to life for you and your preschoolers in their brand-new live show, The Backyardigans Live! Tale of the Mighty Knights!
    The Backyardigans have been a staple in children’s television since 2004. Since its debut on Nickelodeon's preschool weekday lineup, the show has become the number two rated show for preschoolers on television. The program, which features five preschool friends — Pablo, Tyrone, Uniqua, Tasha and Austin — combines music and dancing to build your child’s imagination, just as the friends build their daily backyard adventures. Each episode features a different genre of music (big band, reggae, polka, Motown and disco), with at least four new songs appearing in each episode.
In their latest adventure, the friends go on one of the greatest adventures of all.
Uniqua and Tyrone are knights on a quest to protect King Pablo’s egg. Along the way they meet some interesting characters — Grabbing Goblin Austin and Flight Fairy Tasha — who join in on the fun. They all wind up chasing the unpredictable egg, which hatches feet and dashes all the way up to Dragon Mountain.
    {mosimage}Of course, as strong as the knights are, they are going to need some help. And that help come from the audience. The audience is asked o join in the singing and dancing to give the knights the courage they need to face the dragon who rules Dragon Mountain. Of course, don’t forget, they are going to need a little imagination.
    The show runs a little over 75 minutes, with two 30-minute acts with a 15-minute intermission.
    All five Backyardigans appear in the live show. Similar to Dora and Diego Live, the characters are portrayed by actors in costumes, with their faces revealed. The creators of the live show chose to use this approach so that the audience see and hear the expressions of the characters and really relate to them. Kids easily suspend their disbelief and experience the magic of the live theatre while playing along with their backyard friends.
    "We’re excited about our latest live theatrical endeavor for families,” said Stuart Rosenstein, senior vice president, Resorts and Theatricals, Nickelodeon Recreation.  “The Backyardigans has proven to be a huge hit with Nickelodeon families, and based on the enormous success of the Dora and Diego Live shows, we’re confident The Backyardigans Live! will have the same fantastic response from kids and parents across the country.”
    Show times are Friday, July 11 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, July 12 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 to $38. Tickets may be purchased at the Crown Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com or by calling (910) 223-2900. The Crown Center’s main box office is located at the Crown Coliseum and is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


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