The first time I saw the Wiggles was on a Christmas DVD my sister gave my son that featured some of their older footage (they’ve been around since about 1990). This children’s band is composed of four rather tall guys from Australia in brightly colored shirts (plus kooky friends like an octopus on land and a “friendly” pirate) who sing and dance. I saw low budget staging and overly simple costumes. “Where’s the appeal in this?” I thought. I was not impressed. But Rocky, then 2, loved them at first sight and before long I was listening to their music (it’s good) and doing the simple dances with him. Yes, I admit I was charmed. They have lots of DVDs and some are better than others so it was worth pursuing. Turns out they are former preschool teachers and actual musicians who developed a very savvy way to entertain a long neglected demographic – toddlers and preschoolers. The catchy tunes, the simple choreography and the smiling faces – once you let them into your home, they are hard to resist.
We thought their videos were entertaining but then we took it to the next level and attended a Wiggly concert last year. It was a magical experience for the children and I found myself wishing I had access to such shows when I was a child. It’s like having your idols jump out of the television. As a parent, it is just so much fun watching the kid’s react to a show geared just for them.
This August we attended our second Wiggles concert, this one titled “Wiggly Circus Live!”. These guys did not disappoint. The Wiggles – Sam Moran, Jeff Fatt, Anthony Field, and Murray Cook – plus their handy side-kicks and dance crew, put their heart and soul into the show. Yes, the staging is minimal and the costumes still simple but this is the formula that has led them to success. In fact, they have been one of Australia’s leading exports and have been listed among that country’s top paid earners for years. And earn it, they do. They work very hard to put on a great show, traveling to many countries doing up to 200 performances a year. This in addition to doing a tv show, creating new DVDs every year, and writing new songs. They love what they do and it shows. What makes them different is that they don’t just stand there and sing. They play instruments, they do stunts, and they interact with the audience and poke fun at themselves. They even walk up and down the aisles, making them accessible to every child in the concert hall. We went with friends and our children made signs so the kids were especially delighted when Murray Wiggle read aloud every sign in the room. Another highlight was when all the lights were dimmed during a performance of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. The kids waved their flashing toy souvenirs and the parents used their cell phone lights to light up the darkness with “stars”. Just like a big kid concert!
The Wiggles exude joy and it is contagious. There is no lip syncing. Even more impressive is that they are doing such a physical show even though two members are in their 50s. They really are staying fit.
If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking your young child to a Wiggly concert. Check out the Wiggles website to find out when/where they’ll be next. If you simply cannot afford it or they aren’t performing in your area, you can buy or rent DVDs of their concerts. It’s the next best thing. Get ready to Wiggle everybody!
***The Gen X Moms are no longer writing as a group (too many scheduling conflicts) but you can continue reading about my adventures with Rocky on my new blog at:
Filed under: Event, Pop Culture, Review | Tagged: Anthony Field, Captain Feathersword, Henry the Octopus, Jeff Fatt, Murray Cook, Sam Moran, the librarian, The Wiggles, the wiggles review, wiggles concert review, Wiggly Circus, Wiggly Concert, Wiggly Concert review | 2 Comments »