Preview: Bubble Guppies Live at TPAC

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This Sunday, actress Allie Fogel (Gil) believes, "There's nothing better than making families smile."

Preschoolers can put on their water wings and jump into a “swimsational” adventure when Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock takes the TPAC stage on Mother’s Day.

The live experience is based on Nickelodeon’s popular preschool series, Bubble Guppies. The production features upbeat music, comedic situations and lots of pint-sized audience participation. The plot: Gil, Molly and gang are putting together a rock band when they must embark on a quest to find their missing friend, Bubble Puppy.

Allie Fogel

MEET “GIL”

One of the cast members making the costumed characters come to life on stage is Allie Fogel. The Atlanta native plays “Gil.” Prior to joining the cast of Bubble Guppies Live!, Fogel was a performer for Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. Her most recent role prior to her current one was playing “Elmo” in Sesame Street Live.

Not too shabby for a 25-year-old graduate of The University of Georgia’s Film and TV program.

Fogel took dance classes in elementary school and grew up becoming an avid competition dancer and musical theater performer. “I found a true love and passion for musical theater, and I’m so inspired by Broadway productions,” Fogel says.

While acknowledging it would be a dream come true to wind up on Broadway some day, Fogel’s ultimate goal is choreographing for the stage, TV and film. But for now, she loves being on stage entertaining kids.

“It’s inspiring to be on stage every day for the most amazing audience — families and kids,” says Fogel. “I have a passion for kids’ entertainment, theater and programming, so it inspires me to see what the kids get out of it and seeing them dance and clap along,” she adds.

MORE ABOUT THE SHOW

All of the main Bubble Guppy friends are costumed characters in the live show. Bubble Puppy and Little Fish are puppets, and the production makes use of lots of projections at the back of the stage.

“When we are looking for Bubble Puppy in the supermarket, kids will see the supermarket come alive on the screen. Since we look for Bubble Puppy in several locations, kids have fun yelling out where he is when they see him on the screen,” Fogel says.

The stage experience is extremely similar to its TV counterpart, Fogel assures, adding “it’s very kid friendly in a colorful way.”

The challenges of bringing a costumed character to life on stage?

“We are lucky that our costumes are specifically designed for our bodies, so they’re like a second skin,” Fogel says. “It gets toasty in there, but you just look past it and stay in character. Everything has to be exaggerated in terms of body movement and body language because we’re portraying animated characters. Our body language has to read through the costume onto the stage and onto the kids. The kids know these characters so well you have to live up to their expectations,” she adds.

IF YOU GO:

Bubble Guppies Live! Ready to Rock
Sunday, May 13 at 3 p.m.
TPAC’s Jackson Hall
505 Deaderick St., Nashville
615-782-4040 • tpac.org
Tickets: $19.50 – $39.50

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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