Jessicake and Bubblieisha Hit the Road

Koba Entertainment is booking Shopkins Live! for at least an 80-city run

  • by Linda Deckard
  • Published: May 17, 2017

The promotional poster for Shopkins Live!

Anthony Ottaviani, The Dome Arena, Henrietta, N.Y., is thrilled to be welcoming Shopkins Live! as his first family show to the newly-renovated arena and just as pleased it’s such a hot property. The Dome Arena is among the first dates of the Sept. 14-April 28 bookings announced this month.

Generally speaking, the new family show, based on the number one toy for girls in North America produced by Moose Toys out of Australia, is playing soft-seat theaters, but Ottaviani aggressively pursued his agent at APA to buy the show. It will help bring families to the 40-year-old Dome, which was bought two years ago and refurbished to the tune of $10 million, reopening a month ago with Flogging Molly.

Gilles Paquin, Koba Entertainment, is building the Shopkins family show now. He has the North American rights to the tour and is negotiating for global rights. “Nobody has toured this show anywhere yet. Ours is the premiere live tour ever.

Koba is selling the show to promoters and venues and Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, N.J., is also one of the buyers. Ed Kirchdoerfler, GM,  booked two shows for Sept. 17.

Admitting he initially did not know what a Shopkins was, it didn’t take long to find someone in the office with young daughters. A subsequent trip to the toy store revealed more of the merchandise and general elation when shopkeepers heard the show was coming to town.

Shopkins Live! is in keeping with trends in family shows that Kirchdoerfler has noted of late – bigger productions, higher ticket prices, VIP programs. Mayo PAC presents a dozen family shows a year, and there was a day when tickets were $12-$15. Shopkins is more in the $29-$100 range, with the last being the meet-and-greet VIP experience.

It is selling well, he said. He sells family shows on a loose subscription basis. Anyone who buys five shows is considered a family show series subscriber.

Bigger productions like Shopkins Live! and VStar’s Paw Patrol Live! have raised the level of expectations for families, Kirchdoerfler believes. He said it is selling well, even though they have not yet announced the family show series. “I’m feeling good about the show,” Kirchdoerfler said. “We’re getting a nice number without even putting it out there.”

It looks like Shopkins Live! will travel with two semis, two tour buses and 23 people in cast and crew. Set up will be in the five-hour range.

The show will run for 90 minutes with one 15-minute intermission. The Shoppies and Shopkins characters will have an all new storyline, original pop music and video highlights as Jessicake, Bubblieisha, Peppa-Mint and friends prepare for Shopville’s annual “Funtastic Food and Fashion Fair.”

“We’re at 79 dates now, but it looks like we’ll add quite a few more – 10 for sure,” Paquin said. “Right now, we’re on the road for four months, but it looks like it could be for a year in North America.”

Paquin is working on partnering with a merchandise company and said there will be tour specific Shopkins merch.

“This has longevity. We’re looking at this for five years at least,” he said of the property.

While Shopkins are not on TV at all, they are a viral phenomenon. A new DVD is coming out before the tour launches. The website is Shopkinslive.com.

Paquin agrees with Kirchdoerfler that the quality of theater family shows is up considerably. “There are less tours but longer tours.”

  • by Linda Deckard
  • Published: May 17, 2017