Patti Caplette is all of those.
Now she brings local audiences some of her most popular, fun and colourful characters to the CN Centre Oct. 23 with a new show:
Toopy and Binoo: Fun and Games.
Caplette spoke with the Free Press on Thursday.
“The premise of the show is that it forces our imagination – my imagination in creating it – to see how far we can push the envelope with characters and story line. So I came up with Fun and Games. It’s based on the kind of creative play that children can have during a play date or just by themselves at home with very simple things around them. Games like I Spy and Hide and Seek, all kids learn those games and they can have a lot of fun in a limited space.”
When Fun and Games comes to the stage, children will want to connect and to participate with what’s going on, said Caplette. Some of the new choreography comes from Caplettes experience as a dancer.
“I am in love with theatre and ballet is my anchor to that but I’ve also danced contemporary and what they call now show dancing. So I’ve brought some of my dance techniques into the moves for the performers. This is a broadway-type show that is suitable for all ages so people can bring their babies or their grandmothers. For this show, I’ve tapped into circus arts.”
Caplette said the show features a performer on a Cyr wheel who does imaginative spins and rolls on stage, an amazing feat to watch – and one sure to provide an awe factor for an all ages audience.
“One of our artists was able to train this summer in that art form. So we’ve put that into a scene that we call X and O’s.”
Toopy and Binoo are recognized all over the world and Caplette says when children (or adults) see their favourite characters come on stage, there is a loud roar from the audience.
“For them it’s like us seeing our favourite rock star, like when I went to see Paul McCartney and the Beatles. With these characters (recognized from T.V. shows and live performances) all you hear for the first few minutes is squeals of delight coming from the audience. The performances back stage feel that energy and there is electricity in the air and the pace picks up.”
Speaking of pacing, Caplette says the show is planned for younger audiences so that there is 35 minutes for the show, then a break, then another 35 minutes so that people can enjoy the show.
“We’ve found that’s the perfect attention span for every age group,” she says. Caplette has performed internationally with Canada’s leading dance companies: Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal and Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She’s travelled the globe and toured with rock opera ballet Tommy (in Greece), with Giselle (in Tokyo) and with Romeo and Juliet in Russia.
She’s performed in more than 400 cities in 19 countries.
Caplette first discovered her love of performing arts as a young girl. Her mother owned a dance studio in Vancouver and from the age of five, Caplette showed talent for choreography and playwriting. She’s always been passionate about dance, theatre, musical collaboration and travel.
Koba Entertainment’s newest theatrical production, Toopy and Binoo: Fun and Games is one of the producer’s long list of original stage shows. The show’s creative team includes musical director and Juno award winner Norman Foote, projection and scenic designer, Beth Kates, and costume designers Anne Armit, Maydwell Mascotts and Kevin McGuire.
Toopy and Binoo is based on the best-selling children’s books by Dominique Jolin. The characters made their television debut in 2005 and the show is seen in dozens of countries including Treehouse TV (Canada) and Sun TV (India).
Toopy and Binoo: Fun and Games show comes to CN Centre Thursday, Oct. 23. Show starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are sold at all Ticketmaster outlets.