A madcap and zany multi-media journey through the alphabet, minding your manners and some stand up comedy coaching for little ones, all eccentrically orchestrated by Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Phineas and Ferb star Caroline Rhea. An accomplished and acclaimed actress and stand up, this is her tailor-made show for kids.
Using puppetry and filmed sequences as well as plenty of one-to-one interaction with the children, the success of the show depends on the level of participation from the audience and Rhea had her work cut out here. Comprising young pre-schoolers, most were too shy to get involved. Thankfully there were a few young stars in the making who saved the day. The adults, who appeared to be having a whale of a time, helped in no small part too.
The success of the hour is more down to Rhea's personality than any grand plan for the show: the madcap moments from the unpredictable audience were allowed to run their course for want of offending or excluding any of the children. Her skill as a stand-up in utilising any zany utterances was impressive and she had a warm and encouraging demeanour with the children. It's also good to see she that still maintains her razor-sharp stand-up instincts which she displayed in some of the asides to the grown-ups.
As a live show it has the air of a surreal dream but if filmed the content would be a great weekly kids TV show, with Rhea as the straight woman to the very appealing Mr Clown, her puppet sidekick. There were innovative ways to teach the alphabet and the 100 most common sight words, which Rhea encouraged the parents to get their kids to learn in order to get a head start before they go to school. The sequence where she taught the kids the techniques of stand up was hysterical. A kooky hour with some magic moments but be prepared to get involved to get the most out of it.