The stage at NJPAC in downtown Newark will soon be swarmed by a crew of problem-solving pups, and their adoring toddler-aged fans may be yelping in the aisles.
PAW Patrol, the highly popular Canadian television series which began airing in the U.S. in 2013, has hit the road for a live musical version. Parents, guardians, and kids will most likely have an encyclopedic knowledge of the pups and humans who populate Adventure Bay.
The plot for the musical involves Mayor Goodway who goes missing during the day of The Great Adventure Bay Race. Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, Skye and Everest will join 10-year-old Ryder, the ever-positive boy who takes charge of the pups in an attempt to save the day.
The show promises interesting theatrical techniques. According to the producers, the production uses the Bunraku puppetry tradition. “Using Bunraku, puppetry elements are built into costumes worn by real actors to create a wonderful combination of life-size pups and to make a stronger connection with the audience. The PAW Patrol cast sings and dances, which brings a fun, realistic parallel between the animated series and the live show,” said Jim Waters, producer, VStar Entertainment Group.
The series has its heart in the right place, focusing on problem-solving and teamwork with a communal warmth and kindness. However, the show comes loaded with a series of catchphrases that can challenge the patience of even the most supportive adult. (But admit it, you’ve hummed “Pup Pup Boogie” while taking a shower.) And the product marketing can challenge the wallet of any parent.
Having said that, the story is about a group of pets who keep the older humans in check. Are you on the fence about taking your young ones? In true PAW Patrol fashion, you should “Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!”
PAW Patrol Live! performs at New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10. Visit the NJPAC website for tickets and all performance information. Note that multiple performances happen throughout both days.