Josh Dela Cruz relives Broadway adventures in new family movie

Before becoming the host of Nick Jr.'s “Blue's Clues & You!” Filipino-American Josh Dela Cruz worked in theater for over a decade. He made his Broadway debut in “Aladdin” and appeared in shows such as “Here Lies Love” and “The King and I.” Years later, de la Cruz is having a Broadway “comeback.”

This time around, the 34-year-old is bringing along his pup friend Blue in the feature-length movie “Blue's Big City Adventure.”

A sing-and-dance-along musical spectacular for the whole family, it features all-new songs and choreography with the show's beloved hosts and fan-favorite animated characters.

In a Zoom interview with The Manila Times, Dela Cruz shared his excitement over this “homecoming.”

“It's wonderful to be in something that mirrors my life and what I hope to achieve in such a really great quality family movie,” Dela Cruz happily shared.

Josh brings animated pup Blue with him to New York in ‘Blue’s Big City Adventure.’ PHOTOS COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT+

De la Cruz reunites with former hosts, his cousins in the show, Donovan Patton as Joe (left) and Steve Burns as Steve.

The film is a sing-and-dance-along musical spectacular for the whole family.

“Blue's Big City Adventure” follows Josh (de la Cruz), who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to audition for Rainbow Puppy's (Brianna Bryan) Broadway musical, and Blue (Traci Paige Johnson) as they skidoo to New York City where they meet new friends and discover the magic of music, dance and following one's dreams.

With a career revolving around the theater and a TV show for a long time, de la Cruz admitted that he felt a difference shooting on location. Here, he was able to get out of just one venue and experience filming in places such as Times Square, Central Park and other spots in New York.

“I'm pretty much in a green box with 12 other people all day, every day. So getting the chance to be on location where you have the energy of the city, you have the time and the pressure to get a shot as quickly as possible because we have to move on was amazing.

“The biggest thing that I learned was understanding the cuts. I've never really looked at storyboards in the way that I do now where it really gave me the mind of an editor and the way that a director would think,” he enthused.

Dela Cruz also revealed that directing was something he always wanted to do and excitedly divulged that he would actually be able to take on the role this season.

“The movie really helped me get in the mind of a director. Like, I would ask myself, 'What was necessary for the shot? How can I make this as easy as possible for them in the editing room so that we can continue to move along?' I'm addicted to it,” he continued.

The entire “Blue's Clues” crew is also reunited for this special movie event, with all three hosts — Josh, Steve (Steve Burns), and Joe (Donovan Patton) — together for the first time in the Big Apple. According to de la Cruz, having the two former hosts with him felt like having a 'family reunion.'

“They're my kuyas. They're family and getting to work with them on this movie, after having watched them as a child with my sister, and then my cousin, and then being able to call them kuyas is insane. They are great people and also incredibly talented.”

Aside from Burns and Patton, “Blue's Clues & You!” also features special star appearances by BD Wong, Ali Stroker, Taboo, Alex Winter, Phillipa Soo and Steven Pasquale which make the show even more exciting to watch.

On having new costars, Dela Cruz happily shared, “Good acting for me is like playing catch and catch is always more fun when you're not by yourself. You get to throw ideas around, you get to throw jokes around, it's a much more exciting and spontaneous set because you never know what's gonna happen. You never know what they're going to throw your way and I remember feeling nothing but excitement.”

Made to mark the 25th anniversary of the “Blue's Clues” franchise, de la Cruz hopes kids and kids-at-heart can enjoy “Blue's Big City Adventure.”

“It's a family movie. You don't have to have kids or be a kid to enjoy it. It's just a feel-good musical comedy with some incredible choreography, incredible music, and amazing guest appearances. If you're having a down day, there's no way that you can feel better after watching this movie,” he said.

Blue's Big City Adventure will premiere in the Philippines on April 29, 9:30 a.m. on the Nick Jr. Channel with an encore at 3:45 p.m.

The full length-album from “Blue's Big City Adventure” including the lead single “On Our Way,” on the other hand, is currently available from Republic Records.

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