Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players returned for their (mostly) annual performance at Symphony Space on Saturday, November 3, part of the Just Kidding Kids series of weekly events for children and families. Now that Justin is a new father (really new, like less than one month new) it's going to be interesting to see how he adjusts his touring schedule in the future. Not to mention that he has diversified into books (two currently out with another pair on the horizon), so the release of another CD in the near future is a question mark.
Despite mild temperatures and an erroneous forecast of showers, it was an easy commute however we've definitely seen fuller, more boisterous audiences in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Luckily those in attendance did finally spark and begin to participate, as shown in the videos.
After nearly 20 years in the business, Justin and his band (Liam Davis, Gerald Dowd, Jacqueline Schimmel, and David Winer) have the patter and interaction down to a science. Yet it still appears fresh and fun, with the band seeming to genuinely enjoy the opportunity to entertain a tentative batch of hardened New York City kids.
As ever, setlist maven Ben remarked at which songs the band were not playing, as well as which ones he didn't recall the band playing at previous shows. Matt, on the other hand, reacted as if he was hearing some of these songs live for the first time – and admitted he did not remember seeing the band a few years back at the New Victory Theater. And that's why he tags along, to provide a fresh set of eyes to help me see every band. Justin signed off with a hopeful "We'll see you again," and we'll hold him to that promise.
Performances continue at Symphony Space every Saturday morning. Next up: Legend of the Banana Kid (Western Puppets on November 10) and Moona Luna (Spanish/English music on November 17).