Ever heard of Pokemon Live? It was a stage show that started up around Summer 2000, essentially taking the basic plot of the animated series and combining it with music, dancing, and neat special effects. In December 2000, my dad and I drove 300 miles to Camden, NJ, to see this wonderful show, and we were both totally blown away by the amazing special effects. Here are a few examples: during "Misty's Song", huge Pokemon puppets floated around a black-lit stage - and they actually moved like the Pokemon are supposed to! Goldeens looked they were swimming, and Mew floated gracefully around the sky (they even did Mew's tail separately). Giovanni's MechaMew2 was impressive, especially when it exploded, shooting sparkly bits of confetti into the audience. Even the Team Rocket HQ was done in a neat way - with the whole chorus dressed as evil Rocket minions and odd purple lighting it felt creepy! During "Double Trouble", two Rockets banged steel pipes along with the rhythm as Jessie and James danced around an irritated Giovanni.
Flanking the stage were two towers built to resemble Pokedexes, which showed clips from the shows during song numbers. Interestingly enough, the forbidden scene from "Holiday at Acapulco" of James with breasts appeared during Team Rocket's song, "The Best at Being the Worst". Also shown were scenes from "Legend of Dratini" (such as where James grabs Jessie and leaps from the Safari Zone sign... to crash face-first on the ground).
Some of the actors were phenomenal, others weren't very good. The best-played characters were Giovanni (who appeared both evil and slightly nuts - and who actually got BOOED by the kids at curtain call!) and Brock (that guy could REALLY dance!) Ash was good, except that he seemed awfully old (especially funny when Gio was calling him "little boy"), but Team Rocket were terrible. I was tempted to go up on stage and tell them how to do the motto properly! There were also small actors playing the roles of Meowth, Pikachu, Jigglypuff, and Mewtwo, with the actual VA voices (pre-recorded).
One of the funniest things about Pokemon Live happened before the show in the lobby. I was wearing my "R" shirt (not the costume, just a plain white shirt with a red R on the front - which I actually wear all the time! Wonder what the neighbors think?) and all the little kids thought I was part of the show! One child yelled, "You're not taking my Pikachu!" in reference to the grubby stuffed toy he carried around by one ear. Other little kids wanted their picture taken with me.
Seeing this show was actually my inspiration for creating this website. Since I loved the performance, I wanted to write up a brief synopsis for anyone out there who didn't get the chance to see it. This production had a fairly short run, and I don't know if an official recording will ever be sold (although I did get a copy of the official soundtrack CD). Amazon.com had been carrying the soundtrack, but I think they've stopped - you may want to contact them if you're interested in getting a copy. Ebay also has them up for auction periodically.
But for now, just enjoy the synopsis and song lyrics! Maybe someday there'll be a Pokemon Live 2... you just never know!