One for the kids 

Silly fun with Uncle Grampa's Hoo-Dilly Stew

Soupy Sales, not Shakespeare, is one of the creative inspirations behind Uncle Grampa's Hoo-Dilly Stew, Dad's Garage Theatre's children's show that returns for its second "season" July 7. Like Scandal!, the playhouse's improvised soap opera, Uncle Grampa is unscripted but has wacky characters and puppets with content purely aimed at a family sensibility.

"I've been wanting to do a kids' show at Dad's since I started here," says Uncle Grampa's creator and director Matt "Lucky" Yates. "We really do the show at an adult level so the parents can enjoy it just as much as the kids. But the kids are the best. They have no hesitation in participating in the show: Trying to warn the good guys of the evil deeds of the bad guys and stuff like that."

Yates explains that the show stars the entire Dad's Garage ensemble and features Matt Horgan as sympathetic Larry Lederhosen, Ryan Lucas as the evil German butler Fritz and puppet characters such as Jive Turkey and Phineas J. Monkey. In addition to sing-alongs and visits from assorted giants, leprechauns and swamis, "There are fun-filled characters like ChickenHand the Pirate and Johnny Rulebreaker, as well as Shushy the Clown, who's on the run from the law," says Yates. The show also features original music from members of the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

"We keep talking about attracting younger, new audiences to theater," says artistic director Sean Daniels. "Well, they don't get much younger or newer than this."

Uncle Grampa's Hoo-Dilly Stew plays July 7-Nov. 3 at Dad's Garage Theatre Company, 280 Elizabeth St., with performances at noon Saturdays. $5. Call 404-523-3141 or visit www.dadsgarage.com.

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