“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: King for a Day” brings preschoolers’ favorite characters to the stage
Do you want to make believe with me? Let’s take a ride on trolley to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood!
If your kids are fans of the sweetest preschool tiger around, you can make their little dreams come to life this weekend.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live is bringing a “grr-iffic” stage adaptation of the popular PBS show to Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, Oct. 22.
The show will also take the stage in the coming months in several other U.S. cities.
Keeping Mister Rogers’ vision alive
Daniel Tiger is a continuation of the vision of Mister Rogers, with characters based on that show’s “land of make-believe.”
Simone Gianfrancesco, executive producer of Daniel Tiger Live, said they “worked closely with the Fred Rogers Company to integrate a message that reflected the core of the brand into our live adaptation.”
Daniel Tiger fans will likely recognize the storyline from the latest season of the show, when Daniel gets to borrow King Friday’s crown in “King for a Day.”
“The ‘King for a Day’ storyline focuses on the enduring themes of kindness and giving back to the community, which are at the heart of Fred Rogers’ vision,” Simone said. “In the live production, Daniel learns that being King is not about always getting your way, but rather, that to be a successful King or leader requires listening to others and, above all, being kind.”
The kind, helpful tone of Mister Rogers’ original show is finding a new generation with Daniel Tiger, and Simone said the live show continues that vision.
“The Fred Rogers Company have been wonderful partners over the past three seasons in supporting us in bringing Daniel to life. With “King for a Day,” we encompassed a storyline from a special episode bearing the same name, and expanded the story to fit the live model,” she said.
“Our team works closely alongside the Fred Rogers group to ensure that the originating principles of Mister Rogers are at the forefront of the creative, and interwoven into every connection with the audience. These principles are as timely and important today as they were when Mister Rogers himself was their ambassador. This brand has such a special meaning for families – those children (and adults!) who are fans of Daniel Tiger truly embrace those key principles of kindness, empathy, curiosity and imagination.”
Kids will sing along with familiar songs from Daniel Tiger, which easily lends itself to the stage.
“Its warmth, humor and musicality all translate beautifully to a live production that aims to be as vibrant as the source material,” Simone said.
“In some ways we are different, but in so many ways… we are the same!”
Many of the show’s beloved main characters will star in the production, with the addition of Prince Wednesday’s cousin Chrissy, a recurring character that encourages kids to embrace their differences.
“Our director, Jenn Rapp, is highly skilled at working with actors to organically access the emotions of children of this age group. By rooting their characters in the unique way children express emotions – authentically and fully! – the actors truly embody these characters onstage,” Simone said.
“Chrissy is a character who uses braces to walk, and it was very important to us and to the Fred Rogers Company to work with an actress who had a similar disability to genuinely represent this character within our show. We also partnered with Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C. to ensure that we accurately portrayed the capabilities of Chrissy, and are so pleased to have an even broader and fuller cast represented in this year’s production.”
Simone said “Daniel Tiger Live: King for a Day” will bring together all of the fun, interactive themes of Daniel Tiger familiar to young viewers.
“The live show captures all of the themes and devices that will be familiar to fans – moments of make believe, unique strategies that are beloved by parents and kids alike, and the memorable music that the series is known for – and mixes in moments of high-energy production, new songs and strategies, interactivity and the magic that only live theatre can provide, resulting in an unforgettable experience that every generation will enjoy.”
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: King for a Day
Where: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta
When: Shows at 2 and 5:30 pm Oct. 22
Cost: $22-$75. Purchase tickets through Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000.