Review: Pups Hit the Stage in PAW Patrol Live!
What birthday gift do you give the world’s biggest Paw Patrol fan, aka, my 4-year-old son? This year, the answer was easy: tickets to PAW Patrol Live!, the first-ever theater show for the pups of Adventure Bay.
PAW Patrol Live! opens with a song and dance scene featuring Ryder (the pups' fearless human leader), followed by an engaging introduction of Marshall, Chase, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, and Skye; Everest is introduced during a scene later in the show. If you have a young fan of Tracker, the newest Paw Patrol pup, be forewarned that he does not make an appearance.
The storyline begins with a mission for the pups to find the missing Mayor Goodway on the day of her race against Mayor Humdinger; once she—and Chickaletta—are rescued, the pups then help her hunt for the clues needed to reach the finish line (followed the entire way by the sneaky Mayor Humdinger). Each of the pups have an opportunity to showcase their unique skills in at least one scene; Marshall and Chase are up first, summoned by Ryder to save Mayor Goodway and Chickaletta from a tricky situation. In the subsequent scenes—a snowy mountain for Rocky, Rubble, and Everest, and the ocean and Seal Island for Zuma and Skye—the pups use teamwork and problem-solving skills to find new clues and help Mayor Goodway complete the race. Along the way, favorite characters Farmer Yumi, Cap'n Turbot, and Wally also make an appearance on stage.
Complementing the plot were engaging songs, music, and set design. A large screen at the back of the stage projected scenes such as The Lookout and the racecourse, making the pups appear as if they truly were in the middle of the action. During set changes when the curtain was closed, Mayor Goodway and the Chickaletta Cheerleaders even joined the crowd to keep the young audience entertained during these breaks. The high-energy performance kept my son captivated during the entire hour-long performance—no easy feat for a 4-year-old. Watching him sing along with his favorite TV show characters was a particular highlight for me.
It's hard to know what to expect in terms of costuming for a show like this. Initially, the characters’ costumes were a bit surprising; the human actors are quite visible—it almost looks as though the actors are riding the large dogs. However, I quickly came to appreciate this approach, as the costumes were designed to appear very similar to how the pups look on the show, and large enough that they made it easy to follow the action on stage. The human characters also closely resembled their TV counterparts—Mayor Goodway, in particular, really felt like a fictional character brought to life.
There's also an opportunity to mee the characters off-stage after the show if you purchase a VIP (Very Important Pup) package. However, for my son, simply seeing them on stage was enough of a treat on its own.
If you're wondering if PAW Patrol Live! is a good option for your young child, the answer is definitely yes. My son absolutely loved the show—and has even invited all of his preschool friends to join him the next time it comes to town.
Paw Patrol Live! will be making stops across the country. Find the full touring schedule on its site.
Photos of PAW Patrol Live! provided courtesy of VStar Entertainment Group.