Watching Alvin and the Chipmunks: Live on Stage! at Massey Hall really did make me feel like a kid again. I couldn’t help singing along to the songs and fawning over how cute the Chipmunks (Bevin Bru, Michel Louis Jones and Chad Sutton) and Chipettes (Kathryn Ann-Key, Maria Puglisi and Sarah Wolff) were.
The live performance takes the audience on an interactive journey with the Chipmunks and Chipettes, who travel across America performing in various cities as they warm up for their big charity performance at Woodstock. Their old enemy, Ian Hawke (Andrew Baldwin), tricks them into thinking they’re raising money to save Woodstock, when they’re really raising money for Ian’s greedy desires.
The linear plot and repetitive plot events make it easy for children to follow along and learn important life lessons, such as staying positive in tough times and sharing opportunities with friends, however, here were some long dialogue scenes where it seemed that children were either getting lost or antsy from having to sit for so long.
Overall, I think Alvin and the Chipmunks: Live on Stage! did a good job of keeping the children engaged through the creative choices of popular songs that were given a Chipmunk twist, such as “I love rock and roll, so give me another acorn baby,” accompanied by exaggerated actions.
The cast of 12 worked very hard to entertain the audience with sing-alongs, dancing and even a food fight where soft play food was thrown out into the audience. I was very impressed with the high energy displayed by Sutton and Baldwin, who were playing Dave and Ian.
The Chipmunk and Chipette choreography was surprisingly dynamic, and I was blown away by how the six actors in the big character costumes nailed their footwork.
My favourite moment of audience engagement was when a little girl was selected from her seat to play the drums during the performance at Woodstock. What a cool way to make that little girl’s day by having her take center stage with the Chipmunks and Chipettes while the entire audience cheered her on.
By far, the most impressive element of this performance was the use of projector screens as a digital set. The stage featured one large screen in the middle and two thin screens on either side that changed to depict the various settings throughout the performance. I had never seen anything like this before, and I loved how the projected pictures moved to make the audience feel like they really were going along for the ride with the Chipmunks and Chipettes.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Live on Stage! is presented by Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Iconic Entertainment Studios. The next Canadian tour date is Oct. 31 at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. at London’s Budweiser Gardens arena. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.budweisergardens.com/events/1710. Other tour dates can be found on http://www.alvinandthechipmunkslive.com/ and tickets can be purchased on Live Nation, Ticketmaster or the event venues’ websites.