Miami native and UM graduate Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer is returning home with her Nickelodeon pals, The Fresh Beat Band, who star with her on the show of the same name. The fun foursome, which features Kiki (Gonzalez-Nacer), Shout (Thomas Hobson), Marina (Tara Perry) and Twist (Jon Beavers) will play such hits as “Here We Go, “A Friend Like You, “Bananas,” and “Just Like A Rockstar,” among others. The FBB are in the middle of a sold out national tour which has surpassed all expectations. The Tuesday night show at Miami Beach’s Fillmore will surely be filled with the all the pop tunes, colors and pizzazz of the television show. We sat down with the multitalented Gonzalez-Nacer to talk about the group’s popularity, coming back to Miami and what goes into being a rock star to America’s children.
What will it be like being back in your hometown performing?
I am literally counting down the days! I love coming home, but getting to perform in this beautiful city where I grew up and first dreamt of being on stage is really exciting. Also, a lot of my family is going to be there, so I suspect it will feel a lot like singing in the living room for everyone.
What about the show differs from the TV production?
To start, when we shoot the TV show, we don’t have a studio audience. So getting that interaction and immediate gratification from the fans in the live show is very different and very rewarding. When we see these kids (and the parents too) light up when we step on stage and sing and dance in the aisles, it just fills my heart to see how much joy we are getting to bring so many people. Unlike the episodes on TV, this is very much a concert experience.
The tour is selling out everywhere; did that surprise you at all?
We all knew people really liked the show, but the reaction that we’ve been garnering from us going on tour has been overwhelming. We’ve been selling out shows left and right and they just keep adding more performances. I think its success and its impact have really surpassed all of our expectations. And it’s just getting bigger.
How much prep goes into the production?
We had three weeks of 8-hour rehearsals, which included learning choreography, blocking the show, learning the songs on our instruments, and vocal training. What is it about the FBB that kids love so much? I think kids really connect to each of our characters and love everything from the music and the dancing, to the colors and adventures we go on. Being on tour now, and getting to meet so many of the kids and parents, I’m only now starting to realize how many lives we’re touching and changing. Whether it’s a letter from a fan saying I inspire them, or meeting a little boy or girl who wants to learn music now, or having a parent come up to us to say that their child with autism or Down syndrome or special needs is making so much progress because of us…I just feel so blessed to be a part of that. It makes me happy to know that a show like ours exists and that even a small way, we are getting the opportunity to teach kids about music and instill in them a passion and appreciation for it.