Saturday, February 7, 2009

US Hi-5 (American kids’ band)

Hi-5 was such a hugely popular show in Australia, an American group was assembled and Hi-5 made its U.S. debut in February 2003 (featuring American performers in the same roles as the original Australian version). The American version is shot in the same studios that the Australian version is shot in Sydney. The American show has episodes airing every weekday on The Learning Channel and Discovery Kids, and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2005, 2006, and 2007. In addition, the Fall 2004 Parent’s Choice Award was given to their first CD, Jump and Jive with Hi-5.

As the show became increasingly popular, the cast appeared and performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, on CBS’s Early Show, and NBC’s Today Show, among others. During one Today Show appearance, Matt Lauer, the show’s host, compared the group’s popularity to The Beatles.

Hi-5 toured theatres and arenas in the U.S. in 2005, on the “Move Your Body” Tour, playing live to sold-out crowds in Hartford, Boston, Columbus, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, Tallahassee, and Raleigh. Beginning August 19, 2006, over two weeks of concerts were held at Vancouver’s PNE, with additional concerts at Sesame Place and at Target book festivals in Minneapolis and New York City. Their second tour, “Hi-5 Live”, was also a sell-out.

The members of Hi-5 visit families and kids alike during their ‘off’ time, helping in relief efforts for victims of both Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina, visiting children at Target House (a facility servicing St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis), and helping with other benefits. Individual members often work with their own project or charity, such as Karla’s work with middle school-aged kids at an after-school program.

Original cast members Curtis, Jenn, Kimee, Karla and Shaun last performed together on September 23, 2007 at the Sesame Place theme park in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.[1]

In late 2008, the American Hi-5 was rumoured to be disbanned due to Discovery Kids being reluctant to continue producing new episodes. In response to that, Canadidan media wanted more new episodes. Since Discovery Kids stop producing more episodes, TVOkids and The Learning Channel started airing the original Australian cast in late October 2008.

[edit] Hi-5 characters

[edit] Cast members

* Curtis Cregan, from Okemos, Michigan, starred on Broadway in Rent.

* Jennifer Korbee, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, toured with The American Folklore Theatre for three summers. Her solo album, Give a Girl a Reason, was released June 12, 2007. Her first single is “Good Night Tonight”.

* Kimee Balmilero, a Filipina born and raised in Hawaii, performed in Miss Saigon on tour and made her Broadway debut in Mamma Mia!.

* Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Native American, appeared on All My Children and studied Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He left the series in the summer of 2006 to perform in the off-Broadway show Altar Boyz.

* Karla Cheatham-Mosley, was raised in Westchester, New York. She left the series in the summer of 2006 to concentrate on working in New York musical theatre.

[edit] Puppets

* Jup-Jup
* Chatterbox

Chatterbox is often referred to as Chats.

[edit] New Hi-5 cast members

In July 2006, Karla Cheatham-Mosley, and Shaun Taylor-Corbett left Hi-5 to pursue other opportunities. The episodes featuring Shaun and Karla are still broadcast on television. Replacing Karla and Shaun are

* Sydney James, an African-American performer who auditioned for American Idol and made it to Hollywood. He played Simba in the Lion King on Broadway.

* Yasmeen Sulieman, an African-American singer born in Oakland, California and raised in Hawaii. She toured with Little Shop of Horrors.

[edit] Segments of the program

* Kimee specializes in “Puzzles and Patterns” to help with math and logical thinking.

* Karla focuses on “Body Move” to emphasize physical activity and coordination.

* Curtis creates “Music” to show melody, rhythm and beat.

* Jennifer works with “Word Play” to expand children’s vocabulary, often using rhyming and song.

* Shaun helps identify “Shapes in Space” - visual and spacial awareness, shapes, colors and sizes.

1 comment:

  1. boo! i love this show. why did thy only make only 5 seasons?!