Imagination Movers coming to Riviera Theatre

Imagination Movers newspaper article cover image

Imagination Movers coming to Riviera Theatre

Three Rivers Commercial News | Robert Tomlinson, Staff Writer

THREE RIVERS — Emmy Award-winning children’s band and former Disney Junior stars Imagination Movers will be performing at the Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers on Sunday.

Imagination Movers, based out of New Orleans, are best-known for their Disney Junior show of the same name that ran on the channel between 2008 and 2011. Imagination Movers member Scott Durbin said the band is looking forward to playing in Three Rivers.

“One of the reasons we’re coming to Three Rivers is because we found this wonderful theatre, the Riviera Theatre, and thought it would be a good place to see how many people would come that might be interesting in coming to see us,” Durbin said.

Imagination Movers, who celebrated their 15th year together back in June, was born our of Durbin and his friends Rich Collins, Dave Poche, and Scott “Smitty” Smith’s experiences watching television with their kids back when they were younger.

“When we started, whenever you have kids, you’re born into children’s programming, and we didn’t see a lot of real people on children’s programs,” Durbin said.

“We grew up with Fred Rogers and Captain Kangaroo, but we didn’t see that on television with our own kids, so we said, ‘hey, let’s do something about it.'”

Durbin said the idea of the show was to be music-based around modeling teamwork and problem-solving, while also giving kids a strong male role model. The idea caught on early with local broadcasters, and eventually Mickey Mouse came calling.

“We found some champions early on, with Louisiana Public Broadcasting, and then later it was Disney,” Durbin said. “They came and saw us at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival when we did a show there, and said, ‘hey, let’s do something,’ and so we were fortunate to do a pilot episode with them and it tested well, and we did three episodes initially.”

The series ran for three seasons, with re-runs airing until 2014. Durbin said they were thankful for Disney believing in them.

“Disney believed in our vision, and they were pretty hands-off, and they allowed us to realize what we had,” Durbin said. “Eighty percent of what you on the show are things we brainstormed back in the attic of one of our members’ house when we came together to work on the project.”

Since then, the group has done weekend tours in areas that Durbin said the Imagination Movers didn’t go to that often when they were with Disney. They have also done shows for military families abroad in Asia and Europe.

“Doing those shows for the military families have been a great part of our post-Disney career,” Durbin said.

Durbin said that people can expect a lot of action during an Imagination Movers show.

“When you see a concert, there’s something for everyone,” Durbin said. “We put on an interactive rock concert for kids and their families that is age and developmentally appropriate. It’s super-interactive, we do everything from vortex cannons to toilet papering the audience, to ginormous balloons. But most of all, we do live music, which is what we’re known for.”

“We try to not dumb down material. We try to challenge and encourage kids to aspire for being creative and independent and being problem solvers,” Durbin said.

Speaking to interactivity, Durbin said the line between them and the stage during a show is usually broken.

“One of the things we do is break the line between performer and audience, so a kid might look to their right and see Mover Dave playing his bass right next to him and giving a high five,” Durbin said. “When people come see us live, they want to come and see us again and again, and that’s one of the reasons we enjoy what we do. We have a strong and passionate fan base. We are everywhere during the show, and there’s never a boring moment.”

Imagination Movers will perform Sunday, March 31 at 1 p.m. at the Riviera Theatre. Tickets start at $20, and meet-and-greet passes are available for an additional $30. Tickets can be purchased on the Riviera Theatre website or at Brown Paper Tickets.