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Summer’s still for learning

Reading program kicks off with musical comedy duo Heebie & Jeebie performing at the library. More events are scheduled for coming weeks.

June 22, 2009|By Candice Baker

Local kids hailed the start of their summer vacation Monday by learning how Worcestershire sauce got its name.

Their esoteric (and rather erroneous) education came courtesy of Heebie & Jeebie, a musical comedy team billed as “the world’s only demi-nerd singing duo.”

They performed at the Newport Beach Central Library’s first reading program event of the summer.

Bedecked in yellow and gray camouflage shorts, red shoes and rainbow propeller caps to start the show, the duo donned dozens of other hats throughout the morning, from stylish fedoras to chapeaus made to resemble chili dogs.

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With harmonization evocative of Simon and Garfunkel, the pair of friends — Robert Burke and Mike Lovullo — performed songs ranging from tales of finding the perfect red Thermos to an ode to the wonders of flapjacks.

A favorite for the kids was Heebie & Jeebie’s rendition of Barney favorite “The Green Grass Grows All Around” — updated with a dash of rock ’n’ roll and headbanging.

The friends formerly performed in a rock band together, and brought their love of big hair center stage, with a pair of long wigs à la Wayne and Garth.

Kids also loved their take on “Old MacDonald,” which they made into a wild animal extravaganza; Burke alternately became a scary lion and goofy, leaping monkey.

Heebie & Jeebie will perform again later this summer at the library’s other two branches.

Parents said the show was suitable for a wide range of children, and they hope to become more involved in the library’s programs.

Future events will feature balloon artists, puppets, magicians and live animal shows.

Event organizers said they were surprised by the amount of people who showed up for the library’s first reading program event of the summer.

“We have a lot of programs planned this year,” Children’s Librarian Evelyn Rogers said; the library considered the economic downturn in their plans. “We anticipated a lot of sign-ups this year, so we’re offering a lot of great prizes for kids who sign up.”

The library asks kids to complete 20 hours of reading throughout the summer; programs are also available for teens and adults.

For more information on the program and upcoming free events, call (949) 717-3830 or visit newportbeachlibrary.org.


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