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