Sunday, 9 July 2017

Play Along With Sam, July 4, 2017 ***1/2

By Sam Moran, Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival 
At Chapel off Chapel
Roola Boola Festival runs until July 14
Performance program runs until July 7, 2017 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert 
Stars: ***1/2
Review also published in Herald Sun Arts online on Wed July 5, 2017& late in print (Fri 7 July). KH

You may recognise Sam Moran as a former Wiggle but also, more recently, from his children’s music show, Play Along With Sam, that runs on Nickelodeon’s sister channel, Nick Jr.

As part of the Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival, Moran performs his 50-minute stage version of Play Along With Sam in which he sings his peppy, singable signature tunes for an enthusiastic audience of under-sixes.

Two youthful dancers (Jayme-Jo Massoud and Miah Rose Lake) support Moran with perky choreography that is simple enough for the children to imitate, and they do – they all excitedly dance, skip, jump and wave their arms around in their seats.

Sporting a white safari jacket and a pith helmet, Moran performs in front of a huge, colourful banner that proclaims ‘Play Along With Sam’ and, accompanied by a recorded backing track, sings his songs that include bouncy tunes, cheerful singalongs, a Caribbean rhythm and even a rock number.

He starts the show with one of his most popular tunes called Best. Day. Ever! and, after some warm-ups of finger-wagging and toe-wiggling, the kids eagerly join Moran in playing mime instruments to create a band in his song, San Sereni.

They gleefully jump, march and skip to Dance to the Beat, then practice their counting in Count With Me (1, 2, 3) and also in Cuckoo when they count to twelve as the cuckoo clock counts through the hours.
 Play Along with Sam -L-R Miah Rose Lake, Sam Moran,  Jayme-Jo Massoud
The Sam Moran hits keep coming, including Building It Up, the beachside playtime about building sand castles, the multi-lingual All Around The World, and Taalee, a title that means ‘clap’ in Hindi.

Moran delivers a couple of songs about food, the first being I’m So Hungry and, after the kids declare their favourite foods, he sings and dances a song called Spaghetti, during which the children wiggle and squirm like spaghetti noodles.

The show finishes with a finale of Up Down Turn Around that has the pint-sized audience – and some parents – merrily reaching up, dropping down and spinning around.

Play Along With Sam has only two performances but, if you are keen to get to a show or a workshop, visit the Roola Boola Programme here:

By Kate Herbert

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