The popular Australian-based animated show “Bluey” continues its tour with the theatrical adaptation of the series at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City.
The 50-minute adaptation, which began in December 2020, first started in Bluey’s hometown of Brisbane, Australia with positive reviews and performed across 65 different venues around the country.
Bluey’s Big Play, written by creator Joe Brumm and with new music by composer Joff Bush, began its U.S. tour on Nov. 18, 2022, at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The tour includes over 30 different venues all across the U.S. as fans of the series can experience seeing Bluey in a whole new context.
Audience members also have the opportunity to get VIP access to both the cast and crew after the play to take pictures, receive merchandise and participate in a meet and greet with the puppeteers.
The live show utilizes child sized puppets controlled by puppeteers who are fully visible to the audience while performing during the play, a major departure from the animated television series found on Disney Plus.
However, the series does utilize many aspects of the original show throughout the play, including audio dubs of the original characters, as well as music from the show.
“I think having the audio dubbed with the puppets really keeps people immersed in the story when they watch the play. It makes it easier to not notice the puppeteers when they perform,” said Madelyne Gooltz, head of merchandise for the tour group.
The animated show, which started in 2018, has been highly praised by both critics and audiences. In 2019, the show won an International Emmy Kids Award for Best Children’s Program.
“The show has a lot of nice little lessons. It’s more than just a kid’s show that keeps them entertained — it actually teaches them,” Gooltz said.
The show, which has 130 eight-minute episodes, has become popular for both children and adults. “It’s nice to see that parents can be vulnerable in each episode and have the kids understand more real things in the world,” Jacob Atkinson, a spectator going to see the new adaptation, said.
According to Ruth Sherry, the tour manager for the live show, the play also has a theme of making sure what parents are telling their children is what they are doing themselves.
“In the live show there are particular things that have to do with parents using their phones too much nowadays and learning to spend time with their kids,” Sherry said.
According to Sherry, an important aspect of adapting Bluey into a play is encouraging children to get involved in theater and the arts and utilize their creativity to reinforce the themes of the show.
The puppetry, as well as the opportunity to work with other important creators in Australia, were also important reasons for deciding to adapt the animated show into a stage performance, according to Sherry.
“It’s a different way of watching Bluey while still having the same characters and themes from the original series,” Sherry said.