Thursday, June 24, 2010

There's A Bear In There....

,And a chair as well,

You may have guessed, I have PlaySchool on my mind. The Chop and I very recently attended the PlaySchool Concert and I decided to do a review for you. Because I thought of a few mildly amusing things during the show. Because that's how I roll.

For those of you who are not Australian, did not spend any portion of your childhood in Australia, and have never had small Australian children- wow, are you missing out. PlaySchool is a freaking institution over here. It's been around for more than 30 years on the FreeBeeCee Australian Broadcasting Channel, and has followed pretty much the same formula since it's conception- a cast of friendly toys, meets a cast of friendly adults. Sprinkle liberally with stories, songs and MacGuyver-style craft activities involving toilet rolls and egg cartoons, and your on to an endearing, revered franchise.

Sounds lame, you say? Don't you dare. The OldPlaySchool crew of Nonie, Benita, George, John and Monica will hunt you down and pipe cleaner you. Check out John, in the yellow shirt. He has those crazy eyes going on.


The PlaySchool concert is a traveling yearly event. And when I say traveling, I mean traveling. It visits most areas of Australia, including the regional ones, on rotating basis. Tickets are cheap- a royal $14.90 this year- to keep the shows accessible for everyone. Sell out, this ain't.

Your fifteen bucks even gets you real PlaySchool stars, the very same ones you see on TV. Seeing my Chop have a lightbulb moment and shout "Karen!" was priceless.

Obviously, the toys are fill-in's. Goodness only knows what would happen, should you let the real Bad Humpty loose in an RSl club, what with the pokies and alcohol and what not. For the sake of propriety, it's best to use his understudy.

But we won't go there.

The PlaySchool concert goes for 40 minutes, which is a sublime length of time for attention deficit toddlers and their parents who are being driven insane by their thousand-th singing of The Wheels On The Bus (and I mean, thousand-th singing this week). The concert the Chop and I attended started five minutes late. That may not sound like a lot of time, but this is toddler-time, people. The natives were well and truly getting restless by the time Bill the PianoMan kicked things off.

Yep, the PianoMan. No recorded music or sound effects- Bill does the lot. And he starts, stops and ad-libs along with the presenters, too. The stage props consist of few colored boxes, some costume hats with frog eyes, bunny ears and the like. And that's it. This show is fast and furious to cater to short attention spans, and they belt out all the perennial favorites- I'm a Little TeaPot, The Dinosaur Stomp, The Bear Hunt.

Rock on.

These people are genius. This show is so simple, but so win. Not a word is wasted, not a second left idle. The presenters are full of energy, they interact with the kids, and there is even some eye candy  humour thrown in for the mummies (Look out for the almost-sexy-if-that-wasn't-wrong-because-he-is-singing-Twinkle-Twinkle Teo Gebert and his splash dancing).
 This is Teo. A smidgem hot, yes?
This is kids entertainment at it's best. Coming from a former clown, that is a compliment of the highest order, OK? OK.

Whatever. The kids don't care about the presenters. The real celebrities are the toys.

Big Ted and Little Ted warmed up the crowd. Jemima is like a freaking movie star. The little girls screamed their Cotton On socks off for her.

But Humpty absolutely bought the house down. He rocks. Hardcore.

Therefores, for the Aussie mummies with little ones, if the PlaySchool tour is near you this year, catch on. It's an hour very well spent. And a totally awesomeness five outta five jellybeans on the RRSAHM ranking-stuff-scale. It doesn't get any better than that.

Just for, ya know, sh*ts and giggles, check out the original BBC PlaySchool toys, 70's-style. It's enough to give you nightmares.
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MMBB said...

I love playschool. John was my favourite, especially if you watch him as an adult he just does and says the funniest things!

When I was in highschool there was a playschool concert thing at our school hall for all the kiddies, we got to sneakle in and watch Bernita (also my fav) and George and had our photos taken with the toys LOL (i was 16) I'm not a fan of Monica though. Sorry Mon.

Playschool ROCKS!

Jacki said...

That's so funny, I was at the PlaySchool concert at Castle Hill RSL yesterday! Best 40 mins ever! My son was so excited. As far as hot presenters are concerned, I'm a fan of Matthew...

Tenielle said...

He's a Play School presenter? Even more reason to get cracking on having kids... If I get to look at that on a regular basis, I'm perfectly happy to sing Wheels on the Bus a thousand times a week! *drool*

Now, the most controversial topic in all of Australian history (yes, even more than K-Rudd vs Juilard):

Which window do you prefer?

As always, fantastically written :)

Justine said...

I can't wait til we go next week.
And can you believe they canned Playschool for the new PM??? What were they thinking.
Toddlers don't care about new PMs. and neither, therefore, do their mummies...
All we care about is 25 minutes peace and quiet. ha ha ha!

Katie said...

Sounds like fun. Gonna go google all of this!

Lucy said...

Oh Lori.

We are booked in for mid August here in SA, for the 5th year in a row. Olivia has requested to chuck a sicky so she can go too. We are all a little 'cited!

Please please let it be Matt for me this year. (Last year was Teo, the year before was Alex year we has Jay and I nearly wet myself with happiness!)

BTW did you know it was 40 years old?

And here is Charlie's stand up joke:

Why is peoples scared of PlaySchool?

Because there's a bear in there! Rahhhhh!

Adele said...

Ohh Benita was my favourite!!! And I loved George too! Can't wait to have kids to give myself and excuse to watch it again!

Ali said...

I am so sad I missed it. Miss Twinkle Toes is probably sad too. I had to work the day it was on at our RSL. :( Next year hopefully!

lori said...

It starts with PlaySchool (or Sesame Street here in Yankee land) and all too soon ends with moshpits. Savor these times when you get to pick the entertainment! Adorable pic of Chop BTW!

Thea said...

Excellent! I'm still buzzing over the Wiggles (yes, we saw the REAL ones) concert last year.

Bad Humpty...LOL

Watching Play School is one of my earliest memories. I always wanted to name my daughter Jemima and wondered why they called that other doll 'Handball'.

And, yes, Teo is hot! ;)

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