Monday, August 20, 2007

A world of Wiggles

A world of Wiggles

Sing, dance and journey with the Wiggles, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus and Wags the Dog at 1st Mariner Arena tomorrow. The Wiggles' new show, "Racing to the Rainbow Live!," features lots of fun tunes, educational messages and interactive activities. Audience members are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Wiggles character or to bring a rose for Dorothy the Dinosaur or a bone for Wags the Dog. The Wiggles and the Wiggly Dancers will make their way through the audience to collect the items.

What do you call four men wearing brightly colored skivvies who sing and dance and pal around with a pirate, a dog and a dancing dinosaur?

If you are a parent with young children, you would know immediately that those dynamic dudes are none other than Anthony, Murray, Jeff and Sam of The Wiggles, the world's No. 1 preschool band, and the biggest thing to come out of Australia since kangaroos, koalas and Olivia Newton-John.

They are ubiquitous, to say the least.

Each year, The Wiggles perform more than 200 shows across four continents and appear twice daily on the Disney Channel. They sell millions of albums and DVDs and are a major force in children's entertainment.

The Wiggles have always been a touring band, which has kept them in constant contact with their fans — fans who love to sing and dance in the aisles while the friendly foursome rocks out onstage to hits such as "Hot Potato" and "Monkey Dance."

Evansville will get a taste of The Wiggles when they bring their "Racing to the Rainbow Live!" tour to Roberts Stadium for two performances on Tuesday.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Sam Moran (the yellow Wiggle), and I must admit that he was everything you would hope a Wiggle would be — charming, enthusiastic and a delightful conversationalist. He has performed with The Wiggles for almost 10 years and recently replaced Greg Page (the original yellow Wiggle) who had to leave the group due to a medical condition.

I'll be frank: I'm a fan. And, as a parent, I appreciate the fact that when Sam, Anthony, Murray and Jeff take the stage, they bring with them a background in early childhood education as well as years of training in both vocal and instrumental music.

The Wiggles also have an international flavor about them, and, since they are not tied to a particular genre, they are able to expose children to a variety of songs and sounds.

Sam describes the Wiggly World as "all-inclusive" and finds that preschoolers are "very receptive" to the multicultural influences in their music.

He thinks the combination of reality and fantasy is appealing to young children and that The Wiggles are more interactive than other forms of children's entertainment.

Sam explained that the song-writing process is a collaborative effort.

He said the group not only enjoys working together, but are "good friends off the road," too.

Sam promises "Racing to the Rainbow Live!" is a show filled with the wiggly excitement of new songs, costumes and sets, but that fans can expect to sing along to their old favorites, as well.

Chicca Brougham can be reached via e-mail at

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