When The Wiggles hit the stage at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury at 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday, the toddler and preschool set will experience a Wiggles hello and a Wiggles goodbye in the same afternoon.
Greg Page, the original Wiggle in the yellow shirt, has returned to perform with the three other members of the original cast for the first time in five years.
Hello, Greg! Welcome back!
“It’s been amazing,” Page says. “It’s like riding a bike, getting back onstage. The chemistry that we have on stage is something we are really enjoying.”
But this also will mark the last Long Island concert for the original quartet — purple-clad Wiggle Jeff Fatt, who is 59, redshirted Wiggle Murray Cook, who is 52, and Page, who is 40, will all retire at the end of 2012. The Wiggles have been touring for 21 years.
Goodbye, original foursome.
“Next year will be a new dawn, a new age for The Wiggles,” Page says.
Anthony Field, the Wiggle in the blue shirt, who is 49, will rebuild the group with three new members. “Anthony is so passionate. To say that he lives for The Wiggles is not necessarily an overstatement,” Page says. “It’s really his baby.” The new members of the group have already been selected — and for the first time they include a female, Emma Watkins, age 22.
Three of the original Wiggles met while studying early childhood education at Macquarie University in Syndey in the early 1990s. They began writing children’s songs hoping it would help them get teaching jobs. The Wiggles TV shows are now broadcast in more than 100 countries.
In 2006, Page was unable to continue performing due to a chronic condition known as orthostatic intolerance. The disorder affected his balance and coordination. During his hiatus, he had two children, ages 3 and 1. “That’s been taking up a lot of my time, just being a dad,” he says.
But medication and medical management enabled him to be able to “do what I love doing again. The children dancing and singing along with all the sounds, there’s such a great electricity in the room, such a great vibe.”