Review by: John Bandler
Written by Charlie Kert, ROCKgarden Party! is styled as a children’s TV show and is suitable for children younger than ten.
Through song, dance, skateboarding and interaction with the young audience, the show takes us urbanites on a magical journey through nature, with more than the occasional nod to the problems of pollution, the environment, and the artificiality of city life.
The program’s synopsis tells it best. SkaterDude (Charlie Kert), “an urbanite, is lost in a garden.” In the show that I attended, he meets Earth Angel (Angèle Morgan). They are “hungry and thirsty because of the recent drought. They become friends and teach each other Garden Games to help bring the rain. They enlist garden gnomes and pixies (audience members) who sing, dance and drum along with them.”
We watch Earth Angel emerge from a cocoon, become a butterfly and almost immediately confront SkaterDude with questions about her surroundings. “What’s a machine?” she asks. But she soon becomes remarkably knowledgeable and an active participant in the search for water. She finds a treasure chest (that contains a music box), dinosaur bones, and a “carbon footprint.”
This way, through cooperation (thematic metaphor: technology-savvy urbanites can and should work hand in hand with mother-nature for the good of mankind) “they are able to bring the rain and revitalize the garden.” The show ends with a “celebration of new life”—a rock concert—hence the title of the show. It’s lively, all in good fun, yet carries a message.