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What a treat for my family to be able to see Toopy and Binoo for the first time ever live on stage. We have been big fans of this sweet and imaginative preschool show on Treehouse for many years. While my kids are no longer preschoolers, they love a live show, so we couldn’t resist this one. Sunday afternoon at Centennial Hall, Toopy and his silent playmate Binoo had the toddlers and preschoolers dancing in the aisles as they traveled through imaginary worlds from the comfort of their couch.
There’s nothing quite like the magic of live theatre reflected on the face of a tot. And there was no shortage of those dancing in the aisles and singing with the characters. Luckily my seven -year-old still enjoyed this show because it is the first time it has ever been staged and we were all curious to see how the TV characters would come to life. Toopy is a creative mouse adventuring with his pal Binoo. In their world even the smallest tasks can become a riot of dance and song. Picking a hat out from a dusty couch unveils big dancing dustballs, who have a country and western musical theme sequence. There are lovestruck dragons and Rock ‘N Roll Sheep are also present at other times. The costumes here are quite inventive. Kudos to Koba entertainment for that. A chatty octopus brings the audience into the domestic set that quickly transforms and becomes multiple other worlds. Again, as was the case with the Backyardigans earlier this week at Centennial Hall, I was truly impressed with the voice and vocal range of the octopus. She had a crucial role warming the audience up. Toopy and Binoo and the Marshmallow Moon used a whole range of styles of music that challenged the audience to explore different musical styles. I loved that it stood out from the average children’s theatrical performance, because of its musical exploration of several genres and it was fun for even the youngest of children.
As the performance begins Toopy is seeking the perfect song and venue to tell a story and sing a song. It is a simple concept that lends itself to rather quick set changes and transitions to various different settings. The London performance is the last one scheduled in English until 2012. There are multiple performances still slated for January and February in Quebec and in French. Friday, February 24th is the next performance in Montreal, Quebec.
In the end, there are many small educational lessons throughout the performance. I enjoyed the sequence about the earth and the sun and the stars.
$$$$ out of $$$$$. Not really for those over the age of seven or eight. Perfect for Toddlers and preschoolers, with many movement opportunities and various styles of music.
Disclosure: I was not paid to review this show. I was given free tickets to attend the performance. This in no way impacts my review.