Make room on plate for VeggieTales Live!

Tiny taste buds usually shy from peas and squash – unless they’re the wacky cartoon versions in the hit video series Veggie Tales.

This weekend, a half-dozen of the series’ most colorful veggies, including Larry the Cucumber, Bob the Tomato and a couple of squash, will spring to life in a pair of live performances at the Spokane Opera House.

It takes two semitrucks and a crew of 15 veggie wranglers to bring “VeggieTales Rockin’ Tour Live!” to town, according to VeggieTales promoter Lauree Austin.

No wonder. These are no garden variety veggies; they’ve apparently soaked up enhanced fertilizer.

Larry the Cucumber tops out at about 6 feet 5 inches and Bob the Tomato boasts a waistline nearly as wide as Larry is tall.

They’re a bit like Macy’s Day Parade balloons because they’re plumped with pumped air.

“Kids just love them,” Austin said.

Created more than a decade ago, VeggieTales videos and movies promote kid-scale Christian values sprinkled with enough adult wit to keep everyone smiling.

Parents Jerrol and Lori Olson snapped up tickets for the whole family weeks ago.

All four Olson kids get a kick out of VeggieTales. But it’s 6-year-old Evan who’s most enchanted by the series, said Lori Olson.

“He is the biggest fan,” she said. “He has every video or DVD that is out, most of the toys and a VeggieTales ball cap, overalls and T-shirts.”

Evan, who said he wants to be a minister when he gets older, said he’s been a faithful fan since he was 3.

“They’re kind of funny sometimes. They show stuff from the Bible. And I pretty much know all the (Bible) verses,” from every program, he said.

“They’ve helped me to be a better person and a better pastor when I grow up,” he said in a telephone interview.

His mom said she expects the live production will be wholesome entertainment.

“My guess is it’s going to be more entertainment and a chance for kids to meet the characters up close. But I’m sure they’ll bring those Sunday morning values and the Biblical principles along with the show,” Lori Olson said.

Here’s the plot: Larry is a ringleader in charge of organizing a stage show. But his veggie friends disagree with the songs he’s picked for them to perform – testing their friendship.

Look for stimulating music, colorful lights, comedy and crooning vegetables who can cut a rug. And, of course, in the lobby, a veritable produce aisle of VeggieTales DVDs and other trademark goodies will be for sale.


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