by Janet Jonus Photo by Melissa Nigro
Fans of the hit PBS show, Peg + Cat, can see their heroes in a new live show. Peg + Cat Live! The Big Dog Problem follows the two intrepid best friends as they try to mail five very important letters but a big sheep dog gets in the way! How can they solve this Very Big Problem?
If you missed Peg + Cat Live in Pittsburgh, you still have the opportunity to see this amazing show. Peg + Cat plays the Speaker Jo Ann Davidson Theater (formerly the Capitol Theater) in Columbus OH on March 2nd at 100PM. Or head out to Hershey PA on March 17th at the Hershey Theater at 200PM. Peg + Cat Live is at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia PA on March 30th at 200PM and 500PM.
Peg + Cat Live is based on the hit PBS show from Fred Rogers Productions. As Peg + Cat go about their lives, they often encounter Very Big Problems. They use creativity and basic math and engineering concepts to solve the problems. Kids love the show because every episode is a mini-musical with catchy songs which translate well into the live stage production.
“The plot is based on song,” Paul Seifken, CEO of Fred Rogers Productions explains. “Kids relate to the music.”
Peg + Cat comes from the creative team of Billy Aronson and Jennifer Oxley. While Peg + Cat is nominally a “math show” it really is so much more. The friendship between Peg and her “sidekick” Cat is the key to their adventures. Cat often provides the solution to the Very Big Problem and calms down Peg when she is “totally freaking out”.
“Math can change things around you,” Billy Aronson says. “You can change the world with math but Peg + Cat is about so much more – courage, fun, teamwork, comedy, sharing but mostly it’s about friendship.”
One of the greatest pleasures of Peg + Cat is their connection with their audience. Kids can solve the problems along with Peg + Cat during the television show. The live show takes this to a new level. Peg + Cat Live is very interactive.
“We want the kids to be standing up and singing,” Mr. Siefkin says. Mr. Aronson agrees, “Theater is a shared experience. Everyone is in it together – the actors, the characters, and the audience. We want kids to be shouting out answers and singing along.”
Peg + Cat have been given a very important job. They have to get five pieces of mail in the mailbox before the mailman comes to pick up the mail. The mailbox is too tall, and there is a big dog in the way. Can Peg + Cat and their friends solve the problem?
“The entire story takes place between the front door and the mailbox,” Mr. Siefkin explains. Something new shows up. Peg + Cat are scared but they have an important job to do, and they have to figure out a way to solve the problem. It is a situation kids can easily relate to which is part of the legacy of Fred Rogers. “The show is about love and friendship,” Mr. Aronson says. “That’s the essence of Peg + Cat.”
(If you aren’t familiar with the popular Big Dog Problem episode of Peg + Cat, you and your kids can read it here: http:// https://pbskids.org/peg/games/big-dog-problem )
The story expands on the episode it is based on. Many of the main supporting characters from the PBS show help Peg + Cat including the Mermaid, Ramone, and Pig. Some of them may even pop up in the audience.
Peg + Cat is aimed at kids ages 3-6 years old but there is something in Peg + Cat Live for the all ages. “We wrote this for the entire family,” Mr. Aronson says. “It works on many levels. It’s about families laughing together.” Mr. Seifkin agrees, “Peg + Cat Live is a really fun musical experience for the entire family!”
Look for details about the upcoming shoes here soon!
Peg + Cat Live plays at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh on Saturday, February 2nd at 1100AM. Tickets are on sale online (https://trustarts.org/production/61287/performance/61287/seat_selection ) or by phone at 412-456-6666 or at the Cultural Trust Box Office at 655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15222. A limited number of tickets are still available. Tickets cost $25-45. All ages are welcome. Children one and older must have a ticket. Babies may sit on a parent’s lap.
The show is 60 minutes long with no intermissions. Wheelchair seating and Assistive Listening are available. Bathrooms in the Byham are located on the lower level. The lower level is accessible by stairs and a single elevator. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Enhanced Safety and Screening is used at the Byham. For a list of procedures and prohibited items, check here: https://trustarts.org/pct_home/visit/safety-security/security-screening-and-prohibited-items (Note: There is a bag size limit of 16” x 16” x 8”. This precludes the use of many diaper bags.) Enhanced screening can delay entry. Prepare to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to show time.
The Byham Theater is located at 101 6th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15222. Parking is available in the Cultural District Parking garages. The Fort Duquesne and Sixth Street Garage is the closest to the Theater. Real time parking information can be found at http://parkpgh.org/ . Numerous Port Authority buses run through the Cultural District. Stops at 6th and Penn or Liberty and Penn are close to the Byham. The Wood Street T Station is a 3/10ths of a mile away (about three city blocks). For more information: http://familyfunpittsburgh.com/event/peg-cat-live-byham-theater/ /