'Yo Gabba Gabba' comes to Sarasota

March 21, 2013 

It could be the hippest children's TV show since "Pee-wee's Playhouse."

"Yo Gabba Gabba!" has been delighting children and amusing their parents for the last six years on Nick Jr. Before that it had an semi-underground following on the internet.

There's also a popular stage version, called "Yo Gabba Gabba Live." Its current incarnation, dubbed "Get the Sillies Out" features all the favorite characters from the TV show -- including DJ Lance Rock, Muno, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee and Plex -- plus hip-hop personality Biz Markie. It's coming to Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall March 21.

You can tell from the title of the show and names of the characters, including Biz Markie, that on one level this just mindless fun for the kids. But it's creative enough to keep the parents entertained, too. The creators were a couple of fathers, including one who's in the cool rock bands the Aquabats, who weren't involved in the television industry but didn't like what their kids were watching.

One kind of cool thing about "Yo Gabba Gabba Live" is that is donates $1 from each ticket to an organization called Reverb that works to make the music and recording industries as environmentally responsible as possible.

Details: 6 p.m. March 21, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $21-$46. Information: www.vanwezel.org, 941-953-3368.

-- Marty Clear

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