Rugrats -- A Tampa Bay Adventure

The Ice Palace is the home of the NHL's biggest losers, the Tampa Bay Lightning. But on one weekend, they were home to America's animated w (before South Park), the Rugrats.

On Sunday, 8/2/98, I saw the 1PM performance of Rugrats -- A Live Adventure at the Ice Palace. In my opinion, the show was superb, with creative costumes, clever stagework, and music that even Casey Kasem would love. It's more or less, a Rugrats episode, only imagine it as a feature-length episode, in 3-D and sensurround sound, with musical numbers.

High Points:

1. Costumes are not bulky and puffy; they acutally look like Rugrats. The adults wore regular costumes and masks designed in the style of Klasky-Csupo-Germain's creations.

2. Music: under Mark Mothersbaugh's leadership, and the words of Mothersbaugh and 2 Rugrats writers, Jon Cooksey and Ali Marie Matheson, they've written songs that stick in the theatergoer's heads long after the show.

3. Storyline: as mentioned before, this is practically a Rugrats episode (written by Cooksey and Matheson), but set to music and performed almost live (I said "almost", as the Rugrats' voices, as well as those of Stu & Didi's, were pre-recorded in advance).

Low Points:

1. The venue: Considering that the Ice palace is designed for hockey, the voices sounded a little cavernous; sometimes, you can't understand what they're saying. Also, they should've covered up the beer and whiskey ads in the arena; after all, the show is designed for kids; it makes it seen as if Budweiser and Cutty Sark is sponsoring the Rugrats.

2. Before the show and intermission: Nick uses the video screen to show ads and promos. During intermission, many people are either using the toilet, buying snacks or souvenirs. Even if they're in the theater, they're not paying attention to what they're saying. You don't see this type of thing in "Cats" or "Les Miserables".

To conclude, If you gotta see one "live" show about babies this year, the Live Adventure is it!

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