The last time I spoke with Patrick Roberge it was regarding his production of the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games. Changing the pace a little bit, his company Patrick Roberge Productions (PRP) is now presenting the The Great Big Boo across Metro Vancouver.
“Halloween is a children’s holiday,” says Roberge, who has two youngsters of his own. “I remember when you would grab your pillow case and trick or treat until it was full of candy. Now it’s turned into a retail holiday, an adult holiday with parties and scary attractions.” Roberge and his team wanted to bring back the excitement and celebration of Halloween for children by creating a production that would allow them to dress up in their costumes once more, trick or treat in a safe environment, and have a ton of fun in the process.
However, it’s all about finding that balance between being spooky and being entertaining when it comes to children. “Our first priority is not to be scary,” explains Roberge. The misfit characters that live on Boo Alley sing fun, upbeat tunes while they dance and perform. There are also children in the performance which Roberge says is a great ice-breaker for the young audience. “Kids really fall in love with the characters right away; from the vampire that’s afraid of the dark, to the Frankenstein that wants to be a lounge singer or the princess who doesn’t know how to be a princess.”
Aside from the lighthearted atmosphere, parents will appreciate that the show is easily digestible — providing laughs for them as well as the children. Roberge highlights the fact that it’s not only allowing families to have a Halloween together but also a shared theatrical experience.
The full-length theatre version runs a maximum of 50 minutes (with an intermission), which is followed by trick or treating with the characters who come out for a meet n’ greet after the show.
While the first few shows are at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver (October 22nd) and the Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey (October 23rd) the Great Big Boo heads to Fort Langley October 28th until the 30th. Audience members will get access to the historic landmark and children will be able to trick or treat from within the Fort, getting the most mileage from their costumes this year. “The whole theme of the show is that on Halloween, you can be anything you want to be,” says Roberge, noting that even parents have been known to dress up for the occasion.
Tickets are $19.95 and guests two years old and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult. If you would like to bring your family to this fun, safe, dry, and super kid-friendly Halloween showcase here’s how you can win a 4-pack of tickets:
Leave a comment on this post with your favourite childhood Halloween memory (or favourite recent memory with your own children). One winner will receive tickets for the show on October 22nd at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver and another will receive tickets for one of the performances in Fort Langley from October 28th until the 30th.
Each winner will receive a 4-pack of tickets as well as the official soundtrack of The Great Big Boo. I will draw the winner for the North Vancouver performance on October 19th, and the Fort Langley winner on October 25th.
Update The first winner (for the North Vancouver show on Friday) is Cameron!
Update The second winner (for Fort Langley shows) is Tania!