Be prepared for the most exciting scavenger hunt of medieval times, complete with flying dragons, plucky trolls and a lot of magical entertainment.
Mike the Knight comes to life as he takes to the stage with all his delightful and imaginative friends, taking on the challenges of the Great Glendragon Scavenger Hunt.
The engaging computer-generated TV show has been created for the stage by Koba Entertainment, with the creative force of Patti Caplette, award-winning choreographer and director.
“We love doing those exciting shows for the kids who bring so much energy to the show and become so involved in the action on stage,” she said. “They are watching some of their favourite characters, and get so caught up in the action — hollering out answers to questions for the characters, dancing in the aisles, jumping up and down. It’s just great to watch them.”
Mike the Knight is a knight in training, taking on a chivalrous quest; joined by his best friends, Sparkle and Squirt, a pair of quirky dragons; a valiant friend Trollie and his wizard-in-training sister, Evie.
They accept the challenge of finding everything needed to complete the scavenger hunt with the noble cry “be a knight, do it right.”
“Everything in the show is overly gigantic, colourful and cartoon-like, with the actors in mascot-like costumes that are a challenge in themselves,” Caplette explained.
“These theatrical shows are great for preschoolers and those in Grades 1 and 2, although really, I think it’s great entertainment for anyone from two to 92. It’s certainly entertaining for the little ones, while those who are older can appreciate the many surfaces and layers in the production.”
The cast includes dozens of singers, dancers and actors, including T.J. Milne, who has been with Koba Entertainment for five years, and this season takes on the role of a “firefly ballerina.”
“I’m there to guide Mike and the dragons into the cave and help them find clues to the scavenger hunt,” Milne explained.
“It’s a challenge from the acting point of view because we’re portraying animated characters, but we have to make them very real and believable for the kids,” she said.
“These TV characters are superstars in their mind — so we have to keep the animation real. It’s not always easy to portray a character that’s not found in real life.”
The production keeps the actors on their toes because it is a very physical performance, requiring strength and flexibility, as well as dancing and singing skills.
“We love interacting with the kids in the audience, and sometimes we have to gently guide them back to their seats off the stage — they really want to engage the characters!”
Caplette added that the challenges of being a bigger-than-life character include playing numerous shows in mascot-size costumes.
“These actors need a lot of stamina and energy. In some cities, they’ll be performing three shows a day,” she said.
“When they finally get to come off stage, take off the character’s head for a breather, they are positively drenched. It’s like being in a sweatbox or doing hot yoga.
“They are encumbered by lumbering costumes, but still have to project the characters’ movements and create the storyline, too. We have to engage the audience throughout the show — we can’t have kids just sitting there pondering the floor.”
The animated world is filled with castles and kings, dragons and caves, and peppered with lively music and dancing, all the while encouraging self-confidence, independence and problem-solving with imagination, dress-up and play.
Koba is well-known for child-friendly shows, including Dora the Explorer, Max and Ruby, the Backyardigans and Strawberry Shortcake.
Mike the Knight will criss-cross Canada with the upcoming 45-city tour.