I don’t think I’m sharing anything off the “best-kept secret” list here. Actually, I’m beginning to believe that the Toe Jam Puppet Band is edging up there with the Big Blue Bug as part of Rhode Island’s popular culture. But I urge you, if you haven’t brought your little ones to a Toe Jam show, it’s time!
The Toe Jam Puppet Band will surely be a hit for kids (and adults) of all ages. Their shows are fully interactive, encouraging kids and parents to sing, dance, and participate in storytelling and finger plays. Their masterful shadow puppetry and original songs have made our family loyal followers, five years and going strong.
Their lively performances are spearheaded by fan favorites Tom & Vinny, with frequent guest musicians including bass guitarists, fiddlers, tuba players, and more. Vinny acts as emcee and directs the troupe’s impromptu shenanigans, such as misting the audience with squirt guns during The Car Wash Song. Tom, otherwise known as the Lad in Plaid, writes the band’s original music mainly inspired by his own children. Worth noting for the old-school scenesters, Tom was the bassist for the locally-based punk rock band The Gluons back in “the day.” So, don’t hesitate to request those old favorites (I highly recommend Rockaway Beach, always a hit with our kids)!
You can catch the Toe Jam Puppet Band at Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford every Monday at 10:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. In addition, they perform at various locations around Rhode Island and Massachusetts. This summer, dates include shows in Coventry, Pawtucket, Newport, Narragansett, and elsewhere. Check out the Toe Jam Puppet Band website for a full listing of this summer’s shows.
Buttonwood Park Zoo
425 Hawthorn Street, New Bedford, MA
Shows at 10:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. every Monday
Cost: Zoo admission plus $5