Dora The Money-Making Explorer Hits Houston

They sing! They dance! They teach you a little Spanish! They are human beings bringing the cartoon character Dora the Explorer to life and they hit the stage at Houston's Wortham Center (510 Preston) for six performances starting this Friday at 7 p.m. 

Okay so most of you could give two buckets of warm spit about this, unless you have a pre-schooler, and then, of course, you are willing to endure just about anything to make him or her happy. Pre-schoolers (we are told) love Dora, hence you should love Dora.

And apparently Broadway Across America and Nickelodeon have the stats to back up their claims of a love fest. According to them: "the last Dora 'Lost Toys' U.S. tour was seen by more than 1.2 million people during its 2003-4 run." The Dora live shows "have grossed more than $85 million in sales worldwide, traveled to more than 255 markets across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Southeast Asia and have been see by 2.7 million kids and parents."

How can you argue with that?

Dora the Explorer Live! Search for the City of Lost Toys is based on a particular episode of the cartoon show that can be purchased online.

The story concerns the Latina explorer's search for an entire city of lost toys. In true interactive form, Dora and the audience must work together to solve the puzzles along the way -- in Spanish and English.

According to Stacey Burns, vice president of Family Production for Broadway Across America, "Dora is to kids what the Rolling Stones are to parents -- she's one of the biggest stars in the world."

Regular theater-goers might want to take in Dora Live!, just to have a look at the set and costume designs by Tony-Award winners David Gallo and Gregg Barnes.  

Tickets start at $16 and are available at the Hobby Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 713-629-3700 or online

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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
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