January 16, 2006

One day we're gonna get so high

Who: Hi-5
Where: Founders Theatre, Los Hamiles
When: Sunday 15 January
Reviewed by: Kimberley Rothwell, expert reviewer, and Chloe Nielson, expert child

I don't think I've ever used the line 'I have to get up in the morning to take a five-year-old to a Hi-5 concert' as a reason to leave a party early, but it might have come in handy on Saturday night. Then I could have avoided the hangover that I endured while watching Hi-5's hijinks on stage Sunday morning.

The perky fivesome from Australia blasted into town for two shows on their Space Magic tour, and I saw it as a perfect opportunity to spend quality time with my five year old friend Chloe. But Chloe wasn't interested in spending quality time with me. Even before we were in the door, pushing past littlies with flashing Hi-5 badges and big plastic Hi-5 hands, she was all 'when are Hi-5 coming, they're coming soon aren't they?' When the show started, with smoke, flashing lights and bright colours sizzling my retinas, she tottered off down to the stage where others were gathering in a kind of children's mosh pit.

I have to hand it to Hi-5 - the dancing and singing and staging were great, and seemed to engage the children. Most of the theatre was on their feet at various stages getting down with the moves. One of the group's two male performers Nathan, stole the show for me with his line, 'everybody get on your feet, even you parents, it's not at all embarrassing.'

This coming from a man singing about roadworks.

Chloe was taken by the show's two glamour girls - Charli and Kathleen. Both wore tiaras and socks with their high heels. If that is haute couture in ten years, I'll know who to blame. Kathleen turning into a fairy during a magic act, and Charli's intricate dances were Chloe's highlights. Looking more like she was off to rave than a children's show was Kellie, who wore a pair of leg warmers and a perma-grin the entire show. And lastly Tim, who along with Nathan, didn't seem to mind making a total gallah of himself for the kids.

Although there were lots of calls for the children to get up on their feet and dance like Hi-5, there could have been more interaction with the kids. It would have been nice to get a couple of them on stage, or for the performers to come down into the aisles. At $25 a pop for adults and children, it was expensive, and the fluoro merchandising goods and balloons just put more pressure on parents to shell out cash. When I refused to get Chloe a silver Hi-5 balloon at the show's end, the excitement of the morning became too much and she melted on to the lobby floor in tears. She was consoled only by the memory of Charli's funny dances.

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