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The Fresh Beat Band, from left: Shout (Thomas Hobson), Marina (Tara Perry), Kiki (Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer) and Twist (Jon Beavers).
Randee St. Nicholas/Nickelodeon

They shout it out, just like rock stars, and your kids think they’re the cat’s pajamas.

If you’re the parent of a child between the ages of 2 and 12, then you can affirm this statement: Shout, Marina, Kiki and Twist are to little Billy and Sally what John, Paul, George and Ringo were to you. Their show, now in its third season on Nick Jr., is one of the most watched kids programs on television. Each afternoon, the Fresh Beat Band finds its way out of a jam or helps out a friend in need, all to a catchy musical score. Now they’re taking their show on the road. After an extremely successful spring tour — in which they sold out theaters nationwide — the band is back at it and coming to a town near you. American Way recently caught up with Thomas Hobson (Shout) and Tara Perry (Marina) before their gig in Omaha, Neb., where they talked about the show’s success, their life on the road and the future of the Beats.

American Way: Thomas, you’re a classically trained actor and musician from Yale University. How did you connect with the Fresh Beats?
Thomas Hobson: It’s crazy. I grew up in L.A. doing a lot of acting and singing. But education was always very important in my household, and my father said after I got a college degree, then I could do whatever else I wanted to do. I got it, and I tried so hard not to go to the audition for this show. I thought, “Hey, man, I studied Shakespeare.” But I’ve used every talent I’ve ever had and all that I’d learned at Yale in this show.

AW: Tara, you’re the new kid on the show (replacing the first Marina this season). How’d you get involved?
Tara Perry: My agent said there was a kids show that was looking for a redheaded cross between Lucille Ball and Tina Fey who could also sing and play the drums. I have a background in drumming and I’ve always admired Lucille Ball and Tina Fey. Then they called me on my birthday and said I got the job.

AW: Are you picking up rock-star antics on the road, like not liking your bandmates?
TH: You’d think that we’d hate each other because we work all day together, and then we’re on a bus together, and then we’re on stage together. But a lot of times when it’s over, we’ll end up in Jon’s [Beavers, who plays Twist] room playing board games.
TP: The cast was so welcoming. I never really felt like the new girl. We are all so tight, and so are the dancers from the show. They’re on tour with us, and we’re all really close. We all love each other.

AW: Are you surprised by the reactions you’re getting from the kids across America? To them, you’re basically the Beatles.
TH: [Laughs] I’ve said from the very first day of filming that we had this sort of potential to take the show on the road. Then I got nervous because what if I was wrong? So it’s definitely been a humbling experience, and the audiences have been so warm and so kind.
TP: It doesn’t even feel right calling this a job. We’re blown away every time we come off the stage.

AW: Are the Fresh Beats planning to disband anytime soon, or is being a rock star too much fun?
TH: I’m thoroughly enjoying this. I think we aren’t ready to stop rocking.
TP: It’s so funny to hear that. I can’t get used to it, but I’ll take it. It’s a fun compliment, and it’s so much fun. I can’t wait to get back on the road this fall.


2012 Fresh Beat Band Live in Concert Tour Second-Leg Dates

Aug. 23Melbourne, Fla.Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts
Aug. 24Boca Raton, Fla.Mizner Park Amphitheater
Aug. 25St. Augustine, Fla.St. Augustine Amphitheater
Aug. 26AtlantaFox Theater
Aug. 28Vienna, Va.Wolf Trap's Filene Center
Aug. 30Toledo, OhioToledo Zoo Amphitheater
Aug. 31Kettering, OhioFraze Pavilion
Sept. 1Allentown, Pa.Allentown Fair
Sept. 2Canandaigua, N.Y.Constellation Brands — Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
Sept. 3Saratoga Springs, N.Y.Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Sept. 7West Long Branch, N.J.MAC — Monmouth University
Sept. 8-9New YorkBeacon Theatre
Sept. 12Binghamton, N.Y.The Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena
Sept. 14Camden, N.J.Susquehanna Bank Center
Sept. 15Bethel, N.Y.Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Sept. 20Gilford, N.H.Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion
Sept. 21Uncasville, Conn.Mohegan Sun
Sept. 26Charlottesville, Va.nTelos Wireless Pavilion
Sept. 27Richmond, Va.Carpenter Theatre
Sept. 28Charlotte, N.C.Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
Sept. 29Raleigh, N.C.Raleigh Amphitheater
Oct. 2Huntsville, Ala.Von Braun Center
Oct. 3Columbia, S.C.Township Auditorium
Oct. 4Augusta, Ga.Bell Auditorium
Oct. 5Savannah, Ga.Johnny Mercer Theater
Oct. 6N. Charleston, S.C.North Charleston Coliseum Performing Arts Center
Oct. 7Asheville, N.C.Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
Oct. 10Huntington, W.Va.Keith Albee Performing Arts Center
Oct. 11Johnstown, Pa.Cambria County War Memorial
Oct. 12East Lansing, Mich.Wharton Center for the Performing Arts
Oct. 13ClevelandPlayhouseSquare — State Theater
Oct. 14Grand Rapids, Mich.DeVos Performance Hall
Oct. 17South Bend, Ind.Morris Performing Arts Center
Oct. 18Madison, Wis.Overture Center for the Arts
Oct. 19Davenport, IowaAdler Theatre
Oct. 20Appleton, Wis.Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
Oct. 21ChicagoChicago Theatre
Oct. 23Des Moines, IowaCivic Center of Greater Des Moines
Oct. 24Evansville, Ind.Aiken Theatre at The Centre
Oct. 25Little Rock, Ark.Robinson Center Music Hall
Oct. 27New OrleansMahalia Jackson Theatre
Oct. 28Baton Rouge, La.River Center Baton Rouge
Nov. 1Colorado Springs, Colo.Pikes Peak Center
Nov. 2Ft. Collins, Colo.Lincoln Center
Nov. 4Broomfield, Colo.1stBank Center
Nov. 5Salt Lake CityAbravanel Hall
Nov. 8Portland, Ore.Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Nov. 9Spokane, Wash.INB Performing Arts Center
Nov. 10Everett, Wash.Comcast Arena at Everett
Nov. 11Eugene, Ore.Hult Center for Performing Arts
Nov. 15Reno, Nev.Reno Events Center
Nov. 17San Jose, Calif.San Jose Civic Auditorium
Nov. 18San FranciscoNob Hill Masonic Center
Nov. 21San DiegoSan Diego Civic Theatre
Nov. 23PhoenixComerica Theatre
Nov. 24Los AngelesNokia Theatre L.A. Live