Rock Of Ages

Rock Of Ages

When Bobby Matthews and Virginia Ralph set out to create a movement and music class for children — after they’d seen something similar in Memphis — it was only a short leap to a full-blown show. The variety show format and “wackadoo” characters developed quickly as the husband-and-wife duo combined their skill sets — Matthews’ experience with songwriting and performance and Ralph’s time spent in nonprofit theater, both with a background in arts integration for children. The result was “The mömandpöp Show.”

“We realized really, really quickly we’ve got something here, these kids are absolutely loving this,” Ralph shares. “Also, it was the fact that the parents [come up] and thank us for having music for family, music for kids that doesn’t make [the parents] plug their ears and run out of the room.”

Matthews and Ralph believe they’ve landed on just the right combination — with the colors, music, characters and theatrical pacing of the show making kids feel like it’s a rock concert just for them. And it turns out mömandpöp has been just right to push Matthews and Ralph creatively as well. A desire to write lyrics more clever than “I hate when my mom makes me take out the trash” has pushed Matthews to do some of the best writing of his career, he asserts. And when it all comes together for a live show, kids casting off their shyness to participate and even parents singing along, it doesn’t get better than that for a performer.

“This hearkens back to when I first was playing in a punk band,” Matthews says. “We did a show at the Botanical Garden, and kids were pushing to get close and it felt kind of like [those punk band days] because they’re kids — they don’t check their excitement; they get crazy.”

“I love the communal experience of live performance — the feeling of a whole bunch people in the same room, and they’re all hearing the same thing and singing along and dancing to it,” Ralph adds warmly. “I want to do it every single day. Well, maybe one day off.”

“To replenish the cookies and juice boxes” in the greenroom, Matthews quips.



mömandpöp Band

WHEN — 10:30 a.m. Jan. 20

WHERE — Fayetteville Public Library

COST — Free


Categories: Cover Story