Straight from the world of PBS Kids, "Daniel Tiger's Neigh­bor­hood Live: King fora Day!" takes the SUN­DAY

‘Daniel Tiger’s Neigh­bor­hood’

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - FRONT PAGE - BY KAREN NA­ZOR HILL CORRESPONDENT Con­tact Karen Na­zor HIll at khill@ times­freep­ress.com.

“Daniel Tiger’s Neigh­bor­hood Live: King for a Day!” stage pro­duc­tion, based on the pop­u­lar PBS Kids se­ries “Daniel Tiger’s Neigh­bor­hood,” will fill the stage of the Tivoli The­atre on Sun­day.

The stage pro­duc­tion is an adap­ta­tion of the leg­endary “Mister Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood,” the pop­u­lar 30- minute chil­dren’s show that de­buted on pub­lic tele­vi­sion in 1968 fea­tur­ing Fred Rogers. The stage pro­duc­tion is pro­duced by The Fred Rogers Co.

Ac­tor Ter­rence Bennett, who plays mul­ti­ple char­ac­ters in the stage pro­duc­tion, says t he show fo­cuses on pos­i­tive life lessons in­clud­ing themes of kind­ness, the im­por­tance of help­ing oth­ers, how to be a friend and di­ver­sity. It’s geared to­ward preschool­ers, he says.

Bennett plays the char­ac­ters of Owl King Fri­day, Mu­sic Man Stan and Baker Aker.

The 31-year-old Washington, D.C., res­i­dent says he au­di­tioned for the pro­duc­tion af­ter see­ing how much his 1- and 3- yearold neph­ews — and their mom — loved the show.

“Chil­dren and their par­ents en­joy it,” he says, ex­plain­ing the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween char­ac­ters and the au­di­ence.

“The show in­cludes a lot of au­di­ence par­tic­ipa- tion,” he says. “We have mo­ments when some of the char­ac­ters ac­tu­ally go out into the au­di­ence and in­ter­act with the chil­dren. There’s also a por­tion when the au­di­ence votes on which of our in­stru­ments is the loud­est. That part of the show is very en­thu­si­as­tic and loud.”

Bennett says par­ents rou­tinely tell cast mem­bers that they grew up watch­ing “Mister Rogers’ Neigh­bor­hood.”

“You can tell the adults re­ally get into the show, es­pe­cially when we start singing,” he says. “It be­comes a full- on sin­ga­long. Some of the char­ac­ters in the show were in ‘Mr. Roger’s Neigh­bor­hood’ and when Daniel Tiger ( al­ways wear­ing a red sweater) comes out and starts singing, you can feel the en­ergy from the crowd. Some of the songs are the same that were in the orig­i­nal tele­vi­sion show. Ev­ery­one gets ex­cited when the trol­ley comes out, too.”

For most kids, and even some par­ents, it’s their f irst live the­ater ex­pe­ri­ence, Bennett says.

“The show teaches pos­i­tive lessons about life, and when these kids look on­stage and see our mul­tira­cial per­form­ers, they can iden­tify with us. It’s a great thing to see.”

PHOTO BY ALABASTRO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Daniel Tiger, cen­ter wear­ing red shirt, with some of his friends in “Daniel Tiger’s Neigh­bor­hood Live: King for a Day!”

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