A few years ago, Shannon Neprily was just a Canadian dark fantasy author who had a love affair with Japanese anime, comic book conventions and dressing up with her friends as a character she’d seen on television or in movies.
Together with a group of friends, they’d visit local conventions in full cosplay – short for costume play – mode.
But then it all changed, as the St. Catherine’s resident learned she, in fact, had breast cancer. It was during last year’s rendition of Niagara Falls Comic Con she told her friends-in-cosplay. It was an emotional reveal, she said.
“Last year was rough,” she said. “They had to carry me out of here.”
As I mentioned before, I had the opportunity to go see the Busytown Busy stage show on Friday evening. This is based on the Richard Scarry characters Huckle Cat, Sally Cat, Hilda Hippo, Lowly Worm, Pig Will & Pig Won’t, Goldbug, Sgt Murphy, and more.
The show was to start at about 6:30 pm, so we got there a little after 6 pm. We parked and then walked in the far door of the convention centre at the back. It was nice to see the convention centre, and I was impressed. We took my 9-year-old son and my 7-year-old son. As we were walking into the convention centre, we were surrounded by little kids probably 2-4 years old. My kids were a little embarrassed, but I told them not to worry about it. They hunched over and pretended they were shorter 🙂
The show was supposedly in the Fallsview Theatre, although I didn’t see that name outside the room.
The seats we had were in row Q (it goes up to U). The theatre must have seating for around 600 people. My estimate would be that the theatre was half full. 300 people for a kids show seems like a pretty good number. The seats were comfortable.
The show didn’t start until around 6:47 pm. The show consisted of 2 x 30-minute halfs, with a 20 minute intermission. As soon as the lights went down, my 7-year-old said, “This is awesome!” The play is based around a talent show that is going to take place in Busytown. Each of the main characters try to determine what their talent is. There were several catchy songs that the kids really enjoyed. All of the main voices were pre-recorded by the original voice actors. The stage actors were wearing costumes that looked very much like the characters. The only one that was a little different was Lowly Worm. Obviously there is no one thin enough to play the part of a worm, so there was a worm dressed in brown and black who carried a long worm puppet around the stage (you can see that in one of the pictures I took). It worked well.
The second half of the show was interactive. This was a great idea. By this point, I’m sure most of the kids (and the adults!) were getting a little tired of sitting in their chairs. As part of the show, the characters had the audience stand up and stretch or move according to what the character needed.
The end result of the show was that Lowly Worm didn’t know what his talent was. However, he helped each of the other characters with their talents. It turns out he was able to do all of that because he is a contortionist. He was very happy about that.
As we left, both of my sons said how much they enjoyed it. I’m sure the younger kids enjoyed it even more. The show was put on by Koba Entertainment. I’d definitely be willing to go see another similar show, and will definitely make it back to the Scotiabank Convention Centre for another event.