Unless you are a toddler (and if you are, may I compliment your excellent reading comprehension and ability to navigate the internet) or constantly around young ones, the name Peppa Pig means nothing to you. But at any tot lot or daycare center, the pink animated character is inescapable.
The British series of five-minute cartoons centering around the school-age Peppa Pig and her pig family and animal friends, like the venerable Suzy Sheep, are an international phenomenon. In the United States, the show airs on Nickelodeon, but it's more commonly viewed by giving your 2-year-old an iPhone so he or she can enjoy a clip of Peppa and her brother George laughing on the floor while you enjoy a brief yet glorious two minutes of peace and quiet. A small price to pay for a slobbery iPhone.
On January 22 at the Broward Center for Performing Arts and January 23 at the Fillmore Miami Beach, parents will have a new way to experience that little pink hero as Peppa Pig's Big Splash takes the stage. "It's an interactive show between the cast and the audience centered around a story of Peppa and her friends raising money for a leaky roof at the school house. There's original music, singing, dancing, and jumping in muddy puddles," explained the show's producer, Jonathan Shank, from his office in Los Angeles. This is basically the toddler equivalent of a Pink Floyd laser show. Muddy Puddles
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Shank had been trying to bring a Peppa Pig stage show to the U.S. for years after seeing the success it had in Britain. "We adapted the best things from the shows in the U.K. The script and the songs we kept the same. Many of their theaters were smaller than where we're playing, so we adapted the sets and created life-sized puppets."
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After an audition process that brought in more than 2,000 applicants, Shank is amazed, and the success of the show has surpassed his hopes. "We've already done 30 American shows, and they've all sold out. We've sold 150,000 tickets so far."
After telling Shank that my daughter insisted we be part of these masses and that I would be writing a review of the show from a cranky dad's perspective, he laughed. "I have kids too. As a parent, trying to create these experiences, I try to take all these things we go through to get our kids there — from parking to getting them to the bathroom and all the hassles — into consideration. The show is an hour and 15 minutes with an intermission, and it moves at an even pace with a serene color palette." It also takes place at 5 p.m. so bedtimes can remain unbroken.
There might not be any mosh pits, but never will the Fillmore have seen so many boogers and poop.
Peppa Pig. 5 p.m. Saturday, January 23, at the Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7300; fillmoremb.com. Tickets cost $25 to $45 plus fees via livenation.com. Enter to win free tickets to Peppa Pig at miaminewtimes.com/free/peppapig.