Take Pee Wee Herman, the B52s, and The Lawrence Welk Show; mix them all together and what do you get? Lard Dog: Life’s a Real Dream, a swell new, family-friendly, off-Broadway musical playing every Saturday through January 2 at the Repertory Theatre (50 West 13th Street, between 5th & 6th Avenues) in NYC.
My husband, two daughters 8 and 11, and I didn’t expect to love Lard Dog. The background story of a nerdy, cartoonish character from a planet called Belopio who travels on a giant pretzel to Earth sounded a bit too far out for my tastes. But the minute Honey Babe, aka Kendy Gable, started singing at the open of the show, I knew this was good stuff.
The Human Lard Dog, aka Steven Erdman, and The Band of Shy play really good, toe-tapping music. Sure the lyrics are silly and kooky on the surface, but deep down in the songs about Bob Hope, slurping noodles, catching pretzels, and colanders for headgear, are messages of embracing who you are, being positive, having big dreams, and — most importantly —being nice.
Add in digital graphics, balloons, pretzels tossed into the audience, interactive bubble wrap popping, an onstage character called Mr. Ploop, dancing, and tons of pop culture checks for the parents (among them, Bing Crosby, Tony Randal, Dick Clark, the Quaker Oats Man, and a Richard Nixon puppet), and Lard Dog wins over all ages. Toddlers, young kids, and even my tween, left with big smiles.
Tickets are $20 if you order them online here in advance (they are $25 at the door).
If, like my family, you love the music, you’ll be happy to learn that Lard Dog’s new album is coming out soon. Check out some of the tracks here:
Enjoy the show!