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Max and Ruby take the stage at the Yates

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 Popular children’s television show Max and Ruby comes to life at the Yates Centre for two shows, Sept. 20.

 The popular animated rabbit siblings will be visiting Lethbridge for two fun and music filled live action shows — Max And Ruby: Bunny Party at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Norman Foote.

 

“I wrote all of the music for it. I’m very proud of it,” said Juno Award winning children’s musician Norman Foote, who isn’t involved with the actual TV show, but who has a long history of  writing music for children including composing the music for numerous children’s TV  shows on CBC and for Disney, plus the theme for the Backyardigans and music for the Extra-ordinary Alien. He also wrote a dozen songs for Maurice Sendak’s Little Bear: Winter Tails.

 

“Max and Ruby is  very popular children’s show. They are a brother and sister and Ruby is the eldest. She is very domineering, so the plot of this show surrounds a birthday party and who to invite to it,” he described, adding the show features six or seven actors and costumes and a lot of energy plus a lot of singing. 

 

“It was hard to make this work for a live audience. It’s such a popular TV show and it’s based on really popular books so people really identify with the characters in it,” he continued adding  direct consultation with producer Patti Caplette kept the live show as close to the TV show as possible.

 

He didn’t know a lot about the TV show before he was hired to write the music for the production .

“I have a seven -year-old son and he knew more about it than I did. He was so excited when I got the job in April,” he said adding  after watching the show with his son, he began to appreciate the quality of the writing, which he tried to reflect in his songs.

 

“They’ve really defined the relationship between the sister and brother and that’s a key part of the show. A lot of the writing is amazing. They throw a lot of  different things into the stew,” he enthused.

“I wanted the songs to appeal to parents too. I wanted them to work on many different levels,” he said adding he writes songs for children the same way as he writes for other markets as the songs still feature the same structural building blocks including verses, choruses, riffs and hooks. 

“It is the same principle, the goal is to build up to the chorus,” he continued adding the songs  incorporate a variety of influences from Dixieland jazz to classical.

 

“These songs aren’t just fillers,” he continued adding they all help move the plot of the story forward.

Foote, who plays piano and guitar, is a familiar face in Lethbridge as he played the Lethbridge Children’s Festival, but he won’t be touring with the production, which plays all over Western Canada until Oct. 6. He supplied a CD of the 16 songs he wrote for the show which will be played throughout the production.

 

 Plans are in the works to release the CD for sale during the tour, though he didn’t expect it will be ready for the Lethbridge shows.

 

“I’m very proud of these songs. There’s a lot of fun stuff in them. But it isn’t just schtick that you get here,” he continued adding the songs feature award winning  saxophonist/pianist/ composer Phil Dwyer on clarinet and saxophone among other guest musicians.

“A lot of it appeals to little children, but they’re great tunes that are meant for families, So they are a little larger than life,” he said.

 

Tickets for the shows are available at the  ticket centre.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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