Little-Known Facts About
Rugrats -- A Live Adventure

Most of these facts can be found in the official program of the "Live Adventure".

Some information came from a Wall Street Journal report, published in the 10/28/98 St. Petersburg Times as "Skipping n' Waving To The Bank".


Most of these facts apply only to the original first tour (up until recently); the second tour has a smaller set & cast.

"I'll Take Tommy In The Center To Block, Peter"

Peter Marshall: "What popular TV game show provided the basis for the backgrounds in 'Rugrats: A Live Adventure'?"

Charley Weaver: "Elzie Krack's favorite game show -- as a matter of fact, the show that all of Mount Idy watches -- 'The Price Is Right'." (audience laughs) Okay, 'Hollywood Squares'."

Peter (to contestant): "True or false?"

Contestant: "I'd say 'true'."

Peter: "Circle gets the square!"

Believe it or not, the background mechanics in the "Live Adventure" is based on the popular game show, Hollywood Squares (NBC, 1966-80, new version now syndicated). In that "Tic-Tac-Toe"-based game show, each celebrity sits in his/her own cubby, stacked vertically, 3-by-3. The above dramitazation gives you an idea on how the game goes. In the "Live Adventure", the cubbies are stacked 3-by-3; parts of scenes, mainly involving the adults, take place in the cubbies. When there's nothing going on inside the cubbies, the screens covering them are used to project background images with slide projectors (using 18 rear-screen & 1 front-screen projector, with about 1000 slides). The top center square houses the band. The center square is used before the show and during intermission to show commercials and Nick promos using a rear-screen TV. And no, there's no "secret square" in the "Live Adventure".

The World's Healthiest Stage Show

At the start of each rehearsal, Danny Herman, choreographer & director of the show, has all the cast members go through a 45-minute exercise session, which includes 100 sit-ups, more than what's required for military soldiers. Under Herman's direction, mere stretching is not enough.

It Takes Time To Write A Good Show

Jon Cooksey & Ali Marie Matheson, the writers of the "Live Adventure", took 8 weeks to compose just an outline for the stage show, despite the simple premise. In contrast, it usually takes  5 to 6 weeks to write a complete script for an episode of the Rugrats TV series. As for rewrites, the couple had to rewrite the script 12 times before the final version, the one you see at the show, was approved.

Think Big, Think Small

In the "Live Adventure", the adults act out in one or more of the cubbies (see above), while the Rugrats play out on stage. The objects in the adults' scenes are normal-sized (in a scene where Didi picks up Tommy, she actually picks up a Tommy doll instead), while the objects in the Rugrats' scenes are gargantuous. The alphabet blocks that spell Angelica's name are about the same size as shipping boxes. Also, Grandpa's chair is 15 feet tall, while Reptar, used in the final scene, is 28 feet tall.

Big Money Rugrats

The live show has been predicted by Amusement Business, an industry trade publication, to be among the top ten arena shows in 1998. This includes other "skip & wave" shows from Barney, Sesame Street and Disney, as well as various recording artists like Van Halen, Eric Clapton & Celine Dion. At the Fleet Center in Boston, Rugrats was the venue's second top grossing show in 1998, making $1.1 million over 8 performances, 4/23-26/98. They are behind Celine Dion, who raked in $1,950,481 for 2 shows there.


Don't be surprised if you see Tommy chowing down chicken fried steak at the truck stop. In the first tour, it takes 11 18-wheelers to haul the entire set from stop to stop. This is not counting an additional 6 trucks to haul the souvenirs. Now that's a really-big 10-4.

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