Review (Kid Plus One): Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries.

03 Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries - Ghost

Scooby-Doo Live is a musical mystery at Toronto’s Sony Centre

Scooby Doo Live!“, I told my son’s teacher, when she asked what show we were leaving early to see “At the Sony Centre.” She cocked her head quizically to the side and asked “How…do they fill up a show with that?” I promised to let her know.

To be clear, I completely understand why a parent of a die-hard Scooby-Doo cartoon or book fan would bring a child to see this show. There’s Scooby-Doo, after all, in the suit, making that familiar sound, and Fred and Daphne and Velma and dear old Shaggy.

The children in the crowd who wore their (well-loved) Scooby shirts and clutched their brought-from-home Scooby-Doos seemed pretty delighted with the entire situation, including the three kids in front of us who spent the entire intermission quite seriously discussing whether Velma was sufficiently, satisfactorily Velma-ish (she was. I would praise her by name except that there’s no program for these shows. Velma, whoever you are, well done.)

For the kids and families that didn’t, though, I can’t offer much of a recommendation about Scooby-Doo Live. The actors are certainly game and the lights blink quite a bit, which small children tend to enjoy, but by and large Scooby-Doo Live was nothing to write home about.

I’m betting that this will be extra true for kids, like mine, who aren’t generally watchers of television and are perhaps not used to how television-style plots work. I found myself shaking my head, thinking “Why are we having a love song where Daphne sings to Fred and Fred sings to the van? That’s not how we’re going to solve the mystery of the haunted theatre!”

That’s the other thing – the mystery of the haunted theatre. This show features a big swoopy ghost with creepy bright red eyes who typically enters and exits with claps of thunder.

My son was mostly fine with the loud noises and the red eyes. But I heard quite a few kids in the audience having a really hard time with it, and more than a few families ended up in unpleasant split-decisions with one kid who was into the scary-ghost theme and one who wasn’t.

This is cute, all the actors are on key and so forth. The 90 minute show passed painlessly for a grown person. If you have a kid whom you suspect would lose their mind at the sight of Scooby-Doo, Live, this is for you.

Kid Plus One notes:

Darkness: House is dark, and there are a couple full blackouts.

Loud/sudden noises: Thunder, frequently.

Themes: No, not really.

Seating: Classic soft-seat theatre, general admission.

Overall family-friendliness: Noise in the theatre covered lots of talking, kids encouraged to shout out. Snacks for sale, 20 minute intermission.

Special considerations: Kids who really get what’s going on in the story are probably going to be too old to really enjoy geeking out over Scooby Doo, I fear.


Scooby-Doo Live! is playing until March 16, 2013 at the Sony Centre for the Arts (1 Front Street E)

– Performances are March 16, 2013 at 10:30am, 2:30pm and 5:30pm

– Ticket prices range from $30.25 to $52

– Tickets are available by calling 416-872-2262, online or in person at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Box Office (1 Front Street East, Toronto). Group discounts (8 people +) may be purchased by calling 416-393-7463 or 1-866-737-0805.

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