Review by Tabitha
We have been going to see local kids musicians play around town since Marshall was born, and have watched the musicians grow and change over the last few years. No matter how many shows we go to, it always strikes me how lucky we are to have talented musicians playing for our kids here in Portland. One of those most talented musicians is Mr. Hoo of The Alphabeticians. Mr. Hoo plays shows during the week all around town – at Flying Cat Coffee, Milagros Boutique, Warehouse Cafe and Mississippi Pizza – to name a few.
We had the pleasure of going to see Mr. Hoo play at Mississippi Pizza last Wednesday at noon.
Mr. Hoo is an engaging performer, playing many different songs to appeal to a diverse audience – some we all know and are familiar with - ABCs and I’ve Been Working on the Railroad – and many great Alphabeticians hits – Monkey on my Shirt and Ichthyosaurus are a couple of our personal favorites. He also throws in songs from other musicians – both local (Matt Clark’s Buris the Bat) and national artists (They Might Be Giants and others). At this performance he played a song off the Alphabeticians’ upcoming album Junior called “I may not always love what you do – but I’ll always love you” a heartfelt song about his relationship with his dad. Mr. Hoo plays acoustic guitar throughout the show and throws in some kazoo for many of the songs, which is always an attention getter with the kids! The songs are energetic and kids can get up and dance or sing along.
If you haven’t been to a show at Mississippi Pizza, you’re in for a treat. Just a few features we love: great pizza and salad (even a lunch special), milk for the kids, and a separate side room for music. When you enter the side room it feels warm and inviting. The stage is set to the back of the room and folks can filter in and out easily without interrupting the show. The sound is great – and it’s a treat to hear a show through the sound system.
At the show I am always impressed at how Mr. Hoo is so welcoming to kids joining in on the show. He brings some shakers and instrumental toys which are up on stage for kids to enjoy – and has never objected when kids get on stage to join in on the performance.
Taking in some music and a show over lunch with your kids is a great mid-week break.
Mr. Hoo plays most every Wednesday at Mississippi Pizza Pub from noon to 1:00 pm. Suggested donation for the show is $5 per family.