Hey, you’re a cool parent. Not an eye-rolling source of embarrassment for your kids. Oh, you are? Well, “Yo Gabba Gabba” creator Christian Jacobs knows what you mean. And he’s about the coolest dad ever.
Way back before he and Scott Schultz created the hit Nick Jr. kids show --- which comes to Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center Saturday and Sunday in a touring version, “Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Get the Sillies Out!” --- Jacobs was a kid actor in Southern California who had a bit part in the seminal ‘80s flick “Pretty in Pink” (he tries to steal something from Annie Potts’ record store and she shoots him with a staple gun).
Jacobs flipped that into a role in the 1989 Christian Slater skateboard drama “Gleaming the Cube,” where he began a long skating relationship with cast members Tony Hawk, Jason Lee and others. He went on to design graphics for Hawk’s line of Birdhouse skateboards and create skateboard and music videos.
Then he started a super-hero-themed band, the Aquabats, which has been together for two decades, performing dates ranging from L.A. music clubs, to festivals like Austin’s South by Southwest, shows in Europe (a new tour starts soon), and a slot on the next Warped Tour.
But his 13-year-old daughter isn’t buying any of that.
“I still get plenty of eye-rolling moments. ‘Dad, you are so embarrassing!’” says Jacobs, 41 (pictured above in the hoodie). For now, though, his sons (11, 7 and 3) still give him “the vibe that what I do is, like, pretty cool, pretty special.”
While Jacobs says he created the show with his kids in mind, he also understands how tough it is to be a parent sitting through a couple of hours of children'sentertainment. He’s tried to makes sure the touring production of “Yo Gabba Gabba” has something for all generations.
“I’ve been to shows with my kids where I paid $55 a ticket and parking is this much and then there’s this and this and this. I’ve plunked down all this money and I’m sitting there during the show and I want to blow my brains out,” Jacobs says. “We’ve tried to make [Yo Gabba Gabba] awesome, where parents are jumping out of their seat with the kids.
“I’m not sure how the promoters will feel about me saying this, but I really want it to be kind of like a Flaming Lips show, with confetti and balloons and really cool music,” Jacobs says.
That said, the highlight for each show in Jacobs’ mind is when rap icon Biz Markie (of the ubiquitous “Just a Friend”) comes out to teach the kids how the beat-box.
“Who doesn’t love Biz? Moms and dads are freaking out, and the kids don’t know why. Then the whole audience starts to beat-box and it just blows the roof off the whole place,” he says.
Performances of “Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Get the Sillies Out!” are 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets: $11 (lap) to $66 at BrowardCenter.org.
From the transformative powers of the gardens at the Morikami Museum in Delray Beach to the extensive lineup of entertainment, anime movie screenings, martial arts exhibitions and unique vendors (be on the lookout for the candy art made by Candy Miyuki, from Disneyworld’s Epcot Japan Pavilion), there’s just too much to recommend at the museum’s annual celebration of spring, the Hatsume Fair. But this year, joining the annual anime-character costume contest (4 p.m. Saturday) will be the first-ever anime fashion show (4 p.m. Sunday), hosted by the 3000 Brigade and sponsored by Tate’s Comics in Lauderhill. Categories include best Lolita, best Decora and best Steampunk. Tickets: $12, $6 (kids ages 4-10) advance, $15 and $10 at the gate. Info: Morikami.org.
SHE HAD A DREAM
The new Disney on Ice production, featuring scenes from "Tangled," "The Princess and the Frog" and "Cinderella," comes with the title “Dare to Dream.” Which is particularly resonant for Soniah Spence, who portrays Tiana, Disney's first African-American princess, introduced in the 2009 film "The Princess and the Frog." She told the “Fayetteville Observer”: “When the movie came out, I was on a different Disney On Ice show, portraying a fairy, but I remember thinking, ‘Finally!’ I'd been waiting for this to happen. You want to see a Disney princess that looks like you when you're young. So I really wanted to get a chance to play her when the chance came. I got the role, so this is such a thrill! It's so fun. She's sassy and goal-oriented girl and determined. Anybody can relate to her.” “Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream” is at the BB&T Center in Sunrise today through Sunday. Tickets: $23-$63.75 at Ticketmaster. The production moves to AmericanAirlines Arena Wedneday-March 31. Tickets: $23.95-$64.60 via Ticketmaster.
A MALL GROWS IN DELRAY
Delray Marketplace, the 250,000-square-foot village that has sprung up in the farmland of western Delray Beach (at Atlantic and Lyons Road), will have its official grand-opening celebration from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. “Le Cirque Delray” will offer circus-themed, family-oriented entertainment with live music, free kid-friendly activities and giveaways to introduce the new dining, entertainment and shopping options. Among tenants that are open: Burt and Max’s Grille, Frank Theatres IMAX CineBowl and Grille, and IT’SUGAR. Alas, we still have to wait for the doors to open at Shula Burger, T.A.P. Global Beer Collection and the Olive Tap. Info: 561-865-4613, DelrayMarket.com.
Peace in the Park, “a day dedicated to peace and well being,” brings a variety of soul-soothing entertainment and children's activities to the ArtsPark at Young Circle in downtown Hollywood beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday. Hosted by Wanda Myles, of “Morning Edition” on WLRN-FM, live reggae, jazz and world music will be heard, with art and environmental exhibits and instruction and discussion of meditation and tai chi rounding out the free event. Vendors of personal interest: Dolci Peccati Gelato (artisnal sweets) and Bunnie Cakes (vegan and gluten-free). Info: PeaceintheParkFlorida.org.
The second annual Delray Beach Twilight Festival is not about vampires, but rather several hundred bicyclists racing around downtown Delray from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday as you and thousands of your neighbors cheer them on. As we understand it, there is no wagering to keep things interesting, but crashes are always a possibility. Pre-race festivities take place all day Friday at Old School Square on Atlantic Avenue, with live entertainment and the Terrapin Beer Garden open from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. On Saturday, there will be a Twilight Kids’ Race for children ages 3-10 (entry free), a children’s parade and a kids’ zone on the Square. Picknicking is encouraged. Delray Beach Twilight Festival benefits Kids in Distress, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center and the YMCA Bike Program. Info: 561-869-4916, DelrayBeachTwilight.com.
The Brain Fair at the Miami Science Museum (3280 S. Miami Ave.) on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is a free hands-on exploration of the inside of your head aimed at kids of all ages. Sponsored by the University of Miami and Nick Buoniconti’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the event is designed to teach children and parents about how the brain functions, new discoveries in neuroscience and how different foods contribute to neurological health. Info: MiamiSci.org, TheMiamiProject.org/BrainFair.
HOP ON IT
Get your Easter Bunny vibe on at the Village at Gulfstream Park (901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach) on Saturday for an afternoon of outdoor Easter-themed stuff on Champion’s Plaza from noon to 4 p.m. Yes, there’s an egg hunt, popcorn and cotton candy, as well as chances to win DVDs, posters, t-shirts, "Wizards of Waverly Place" paraphernalia and more. Radio Disney will provide the sounds. Admission and parking are free. Info: TheVillageatGulfStreamPark.com, 954-378-0900.