Wake Up Your Weird! is an energetic, hilarious show full of original songs, video shorts, puppetry, pink monkeys, and a Sasquatch followed by an interactive joy ride where you get to move, sing, and laugh your way through more of Leslie’s stories and songs. It is a family-friendly show for kids 8 and up.
Music from Wake Up Your Weird! was recorded by a stellar group of acclaimed New York musicians and Leslie's multitude of characters, including the beloved Lolly Lardpop, Granny Dot, a giant lizard named Slax, and Lolly's fairy godmother Velvet Lambmore.
Leslie Carrara-Rudolph is a multifaceted entertainer, writer, and artist. She is best known for her work as Abby Cadabby on Sesame Street, for which she is a 3-time Emmy-nominated performer.
Produced by Leslie Carrara-Rudolph and Paul Rudolph. Music direction, mixing and mastering by Paul Rudolph
Recorded at Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, NY by Mike Brorby and Clean Room Music, Astoria, NY by Paul Rudolph
Additional previous recording (3, 6, 9, 10) at various locations
Featured musicians include: John Deley, piano, Rob Jost, bass, Ray Marchica, drums, and Paul Rudolph, vibraphone, percussion, background vocals
Vocals by Leslie Carrara-Rudolph: Lolly, Velvet Lambmore, Slax, Granny Dot, Leslie (herself), background vocals
Additional musicians: Doug Derryberry, guitars (1, 11, 13, 14), Joe Fiedler, trombone (11, 13), Andy Howe, piano (9, 10), John B. deHaas, piano (3, 6), Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Pristina and kids vocals (3), Ryan Dillon, additional voices (2, 14), Laura Ware, background vocals (7), Carmen Osbahr and John Kennedy, additional voices (14), Paul Rudolph, vibraphone (1, 5, 8, 12), percussion (2, 4, 8, 9, 10) background vocals (7, 13, 14) midi arrangements (3, 6, 9, 10) and vocal arrangements (7, 13, 14)
Photos by Richard Termine, WUYW logo by Luke Design
Wake Up Your Weird! - the show:
Act I is a 45-minute, musical short story about a little girl named Lolly who gets bullied at a play date. Lolly turns to her imaginary friends in her “Thought Bubble” to “rethink her thinking” and tells a whimsical tale that includes a girl who walks her brain on a leash, a giant lizard, a fairy Godmother lamb, and a flying Grandma. Through art, music, and puppetry and with the help of the audience, Lolly learns how to follow her heart, know her truth, and find the power of being herself.
Act II is a 35-minute, interactive performance workshop that highlights the voice, the body, and the imagination as the three magic ingredients for “waking up your weird” and spreading joy. The audience literally becomes part of the show as they, sing, dance, improvise, and create a one-of-a-kind experience fueled by their input and inspiration.
Brief History of Wake Up Your Weird!
Jim Henson Foundation Grant, 2009
UNIMA Citation of Excellence International Puppet Festival performance, 2009-2010
Jim Henson Foundation Presenters Grant, 2011 (awarded to 63rd Street YMCA for NYC debut)
Act I developed at Ojai Playwrights Conference, 2009
Act II featured at the Center for Puppetry Arts, 2010
Guest Artist, Eugene O’Neill Puppetry Conference, 2011
Artist-in-residence, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (workshopped NY show), 2012
Mission statement for the show: To champion individuality through the arts.
Focus: Development of social, emotional, problem solving, and critical thinking skills
Target audience: Ages 8 and up
"I have spent a long time putting together an interactive theater piece that offers some creative tools for dealing with bullying and self-esteem issues. I believe Wake Up Your Weird! achieves this goal. It is a story and a workshop wrapped up into one theater presentation. I have combined my outreach work along with my love for musical theater and puppetry into this 'show and tell' approach. The first act is a musical short story that follows a little girl’s emotional journey. In the second act, I show kids how easy it is to share their ideas by using the voice, the body, and the imagination, and how to express their thoughts through writing, music, puppetry, art, dance, and more. Wake Up Your Weird! takes an active approach to a very serious problem. My hope is that by championing what is unique and 'weird' about each of us, that Lolly and I will not only 'wake up some weird' but 'wake up some humanity' as well." - Leslie Carrara-Rudolph