- Tickets range from $30 to $75 for CoComelon Live! JJ’s Journey
- The show is Sunday 3 p.m. at Montgomery Performing Arts Centre
- Children 1 and younger who can sit on a parent’s lap don’t need a ticket
Get ready for a playdate like no other, with hundreds of little kids squealing with joy and some “big” kids — JJ, YoYo, and Tom Tom — ready to play and sing.
Based on the 3D animated kids’ musical show, “CoComelon Live! JJ’s Journey” is visiting the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre on Sunday at 3 p.m. It’s a one-day-only show that’s for everyone, from the littlest of children to parents and grandparents.
“My kids are 7 and 9, and they still love CoComelon,” said Jaimie Selke, CoComelon Live’s director, and choreographer.
The Buffalo, New York, native has been dancing since she was 5. Before leading shows like CoComelon Live, Selke toured the world for 12 years as a dancer. For about 15 years, she’s directed and choreographed live shows for kids like “Blues Clues,” “Bippi,” “Dora the Explorer,” and others.
“I just love it because the kids are the best audiences I could ever perform for,” Selke said. “They just love you from the very beginning to the very end. They’re screaming and clapping and yelling the whole show.”
Along with the show’s three main siblings, CoComelon Live includes a cast of family and friends — fellow kids, a bunch of animals from JJ’s imagination, and their beloved teacher Ms. Appleberry.
“The kids, they already know and they already love these characters,” Selke said. “By the time that they walk into the theater, it’s already love.”
If you’ve got a child under the age of 1, you’ll love the price. Tickets at MPAC range from $30 to $75, but ages up to 1, who can sit on an adult’s lap instead of a seat, don’t need a ticket. You can get tickets at mpaconline.org or by calling the box office at 334-481-5100.
Designed to meet the needs of little kids’ attention spans, and bathroom breaks, the show is divided into two parts. The first half is 40 minutes. After a 15 minute intermission, it returns for another half hour, Selke said.
“It really is a family shared experience,” Selke said.
That includes Selke’s own children.
“They go to every single show, and they’re transfixed,” she said.
CoComelon Live captures the essence of the TV show, which has billions of views on YouTube, Netflix, and other streaming services. It offers a wealth of nursery rhymes and musical lessons for children — “Bath Song,” “Wheels on the Bus,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” “Baby Shark,” and many, many more.
Selke said the live show brings in a lot of those favorite songs, plus some new ones.
“We hope that the families walk away feeling inspired by JJ’s Journey,” Selke said. “The show is centered around the heartfelt message that with the help of your family and friends, you can make all your dreams come true.”
One other thing the show is known for is big heads on little kids. Their design is much bigger than their parent’s heads. Translating that onto the stage, the live cast wears large CoComelon character masks as they dance and run around.
“It’s got its challenges, for sure, but you would never know it,” Selke said. “JJ and all of his friends, really they’re the rock stars.”
Learn more about the show online at cocomelonlive.com.
A few slices of CoComelon trivia
For those who haven’t yet immersed themselves into the world of CoComelon, here are some things to know before seeing the show:
- The TV show’s creator is Jay Jeon, who launched it as ABC Kid TV in 2005. In 2017, he took CoComelon into 3D animation. After viewership exploded, the company was sold to Moonbug in 2020.
- Though they don’t give specific ages, JJ is the youngest of his family. YoYo is the middle child, and their big brother is TomTom. The kids have a dog named Bingo.
- JJ’s mom and dad are a little mysterious. Outside of being parents, there’s no clear job that they have. Dad could be a musician, because he’s frequently seen with a guitar. They’re both athletic.
- It’s a very diverse set of characters — white, Black, Hispanic, Asian. They offer a variety of skin tones and characteristics.
- Most of the characters seem to live in the same suburban community, which is pretty nice. JJ’s home has a big backyard with a pool and a large treehouse. There’s lots of greenery and parks nearby.
- JJ has a famous maternal grandpa, Old MacDonald. Yes, the farmer from the song. They frequently visit grandma and grandpa on the farm, where JJ’s mom grew up.
- JJ has five classmates under Ms. Appleberry at Melon Patch Academy preschool — Nico, Nina, Bella, CeCe and JJ’s best friend Cody, who has a cat named Pickles. They all have a class pet, a hamster named Jellybean.
- The show has introduced a few other parents. In the Green family, Cody’s dad is a baker, and mom is a doctor, who just gave Cody a new baby sister, Kendi. She’s the youngest kid on the show so far. Yes, Kendi’s head is bigger than her parents’ heads. They have their own CoComelon spinoff, “It’s Cody Time.”
- Nina’s mom is a firefighter. Nina has two siblings, an older sister Lucy, and a little brother Mateo.
- There is a cast of CoComelon animals who appear to be from JJ’s imagination. They’re living, breathing, singing versions of his toy animals — Boba the bear, Ello the elephant, Mochi the monkey, Wally the wolf, MoMo the mouse, PePe the pig, and KiKi the cat. There’s also a tortoise and a hare. There appear to be specific rules about when they’re used in the show. They often interact with JJ and his family. Only their toy versions appear in JJ’s classroom, or when he’s with other people. The animals also often have solo adventures.
- The one frequently seen a stuffed toy that’s never appeared as a live animal is YoYo’s lamb. This is probably because the lamb is her toy, not JJ’s.
Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel covers things to do in the River Region, and watches massive amounts of CoComelon with his children. Contact him at[email protected].