Pokemon Live soundtrack album cover

Cover of the cast recording CD release of the show.

Pokémon Live! was a musical stage show that toured the United States from September 15, 2000 to January 28, 2001. The musical was based on the Pokémon anime series, mostly based on the first season, Pokémon Indigo League, using similar characters, clothing, and story elements. The show uses songs previously released on the Pokémon anime soundtracks Pokémon 2.B.A. Master and Totally Pokémon as well as original songs.

Two of its cast members, Darren Dunstan and Andrew Rannells are regulars in the main anime, providing the roles of Giovanni and James in the musical.

Approximately 90 minutes in length, it told the story of Ash Ketchum, Misty and Brock as they travel to a contest to win the much sought-after Diamond Badge. The event turns out to be part of a plan by the evil organization Team Rocket and its diabolic leader Giovanni to take over the world.

Plans for some 2002 performances in the United Kingdom were also made, but later cancelled. Pokémon Live! was invited to perform in Dubai, U.A.E. at Al Mamzar Park in March 2001, coinciding with the annual Dubai Shopping Festival. A Portuguese version of the show, produced by television company SIC, was performed from March 21 to March 27, 2002 at the Pavilhão Atlântico in Lisbon, Portugal. A Dutch adaptation of the musical was performed on April 6 and 7, 2002, at the Sportpaleis in Belgium.

Chris Mitchell, the Production Stage Manager for the tour, posted videos of the complete performance in Milwaukee's US Cellular Arena (dated December 30, 2000) in seven parts to his personal YouTube channel in 2012 and the whole performance in one video in 2016. In September 2020, a user named Benjamin Delbert posted a restored fan-edit using elements from almost every performance of the show's run on YouTube.

The show was successful, but it was largely received negative reviews by critics. It never received a video release, despite the official Pokémon site mentioning that one would be announced in the future. A cast recording CD of the show, however, had a limited release.

Tour Stops[]

Venue Opening Date Closing Date
The Pepsi Arena (Albany) 15 September 2000 17 September 2000
Radio City Music Hall 20 September 2000 1 October 2000
Wolstein Center (Cleveland) 4 October 2000 8 October 2000
Oakdale Theatre (Wallingford) 10 October 2000 15 October 2000
Hummingbird Centre (Toronto) 17 October 2000 22 October 2000
Fox Theatre (Detroit) 25 October 2000 29 October 2000
Van Andel Arena (Grand Rapids) 31 October 2000 1 November 2000
Nationwide Arena (Columbus) 2 November 2000 5 November 2000
Pepsi Coliseum (Indianapolis) 8 November 2000 12 November 2000
EagleBank Arena (Fairfax) 14 November 2000 19 November 2000
Fox Theatre (Atlanta) 21 November 2000 26 November 2000
Bojangles' Coliseum (Charlotte) 29 November 2000 3 December 2000
Blockbuster-Sony Music Entertainment Centre (Camden) 6 December 2000 10 December 2000
Tsongas Arena (Lowell) 12 December 2000 13 December 2000
Centrum Centre (Worcester) 14 December 2000 17 December 2000
US Cellular Arena (Milwaukee) 27 December 2000 31 December 2000
The MARK of the Quad Cities (Moline) 2 January 2001 3 January 2001
Firstar Center (Cincinnati) 5 January 2001 7 January 2001
Roberts Municipal Stadium (Evansville) 9 January 2001 10 January 2001
Rosemont Theatre (Rosemont) 12 January 2001 21 January 2001
Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul) 23 January 2001 28 January 2001


The idea for Pokémon Live! was conceived by the president of 4Kids Productions, Norman J. Grossfeld. The show was directed and choreographed Luis Perez, and was written by Michael Slade. Musical Direction was done by John Loeffler and John Siegler, who have both written songs for the Pokémon anime. Set production was done by Hotopp Associates Limited, and Lighting Design by David Agress Lighting, Inc. Costumes for Pokémon Live! were designed by Yvette Helin Studios, who also assisted Geppetto Studios in creating seventeen standee Pokémon puppets.


Act I[]

Song-YouAndMeAndPokemon (live)

Ash and friends as they appear in the show.

The story begins with a shadowed Giovanni releasing a commercial challenging all Pokémon Trainers to win the one-of-a-kind Diamond Badge by defeating him and his Pokémon in a battle. Ash declines to join his mother Delia, and Professor Oak to a lecture on sleep disorders among Snorlax, because he has decided to accept the mysterious Gym Leader's challenge. As he prepares for the journey, Misty chastises him for not taking her to the movies for her birthday as promised three weeks ago. Ash promises to make it up to her somehow, but adds that Pokémon are his friends too ("You and Me and Pokémon"). Together with Brock, Ash and Misty head off for the Gym using a map downloaded from the Diamond Badge website.

Meanwhile, Jessie, James, and Meowth, after heckling the audience with some Mad Libs dialogue, get a call from Giovanni ordering them to arrive at his headquarters. When they arrive, he gloats about his ultimate creation, MechaMew2. The mechanical monster—based on the powerful Mewtwo he had late in the anime's first season and Pokémon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back— will soon be unstoppable ("It Will All Be Mine"). He orders Team Rocket to capture Ash's Pikachu, because it has Thunder Shock and Thunder Attack, two techniques that MechaMew2 doesn't have. They promise to do as he says after he promises them a good pay. Soon, several trainers face off against MechaMew2, which copies the attack of its challengers and uses it against them to defeat them. Among the moves it learns is Self Destruct, which it is not ordered to return as doing so would destroy it. Giovanni praises his mechanical Pokémon and gloats that as soon as it learns every Pokémon's attack, nothing will stand in his way ("It Will All Be Mine (Reprise)").

While the team is in the forest, Brock chases cute girls and Misty laments that Ash is ignoring her in favor of his Pokémon. Ash tells his friends that he wants them to travel together forever ("My Best Friends"). Jessie, James and Meowth dig a pitfall trap for Ash and his friends to fall into, but the heroes walk right over it without incident because the Rockets forgot to remove the supports. To their misfortune, Jessie and James only realize the cause when they pull out the supports and fall into their own trap, leaving a frustrated Meowth to run off for a rope to pull them out.

In the meantime, Delia and Professor Oak approach the old, run-down building where the Snorlax lecture is supposed to be held. After Delia confesses that she feels that she is losing touch with her son, the Professor reassures her by saying that things never stay the same for long ("Everything Changes"). Suddenly, several Rocket Grunts rush out of the shadows and surround them, and Giovanni says that the lecture was a trap to lure Professor Oak to them. When the Boss also recognizes Delia, she insists that anything between them was in the past, to which he says that some things don't have to change. Giovanni orders the Rocket Grunts to take Delia and Oak to an (offstage) helicopter and to his headquarters, where they'll witness something that will change the world forever ("Everything Changes (Reprise 1)").

Back in the forest, the heroes are lost and alone after Brock earlier threw the map in the river while asking a female trainer for directions. They try getting help from a deaf trainer with Brock interpreting his signs, who agrees to share his map on the condition that he and the "guy with the goofy smile" have a battle first. Ash agrees to this, but the deaf trainer sends out Jigglypuff, who instantly starts singing and puts everyone but its trainer to sleep. In spite of this, the deaf trainer leaves his map with the heroes as Jigglypuff draws on their faces. Afterwards, Misty wakes up and starts wiping Jigglypuff's marks off of Ash's face while singing about her secret feelings for him and her fear of rejection ("Misty's Song"). Ash and Brock soon wake up as well, with the former wondering aloud who was singing just now. Misty claims the song to have been an effect of Jigglypuff's song, and the heroes continue on to the next part of the path, this time with Misty carrying the map.

Meanwhile, Meowth gets Jessie and James—who have also fallen asleep from Jigglypuff's song—out of the pit while complaining about their incompetence. Realizing that Meowth is right, Jessie and James lament their status as failures. Meowth cheers them up by telling them that being failures is something at which they're successful ("The Best at Being the Worst"). With that, the Rockets set out to find Pikachu again. Using their Magikarp submarine, they manage to catch up with the trainers at Cerulean Blue Lagoon, where Ash declares that he's going to use Pikachu against the gym leader ("Pikachu (I Choose You)"). While the kids get caught up in the song, Team Rocket captures Pikachu when he dances near them. By the time Ash realizes Pikachu is missing, Team Rocket is long gone.

Act II[]

After an intermission segment in which Ash's Pokédex Dexter explains his important contribution to Ash's continuing success and gathers data from the audience ("What Kind of Pokémon Are You?"), the heroes return to the forest. Ash is positive that his favorite Pokémon has once again been kidnapped by Team Rocket. Misty, apparently still upset about being ignored on her birthday, suggests that maybe Pikachu has just left Ash of his own will because of the trainer's new habit of ignoring his friends ("maybe you missed his birthday too"). She runs after Brock, leaving Ash to ponder her words and worry that Pikachu did leave on his own. Ash bids an emotional farewell to Pikachu ("The Time Has Come").

At the Gym, Delia and Professor Oak are in the battle arena and locked inside giant cages. Oak asks Delia why the Boss recognized her. She explains that Giovanni is an old boyfriend from when she was a teenager and used to hang out with a bad crowd, which she put behind her when she met Ash's father. She never told this to Ash, fearing that he would not understand. Delia came to hate Giovanni, which he arrives just in time to hear. Realizing Delia has changed, Giovanni tells them that they're here to witness the final battle, as the only attacks left to be learned are the aforementioned electric moves ("You and Me and Pokémon (Reprise)"). Immediately after, the Rockets arrive with the captured Pikachu ("Double Trouble"), to Giovanni's surprise, and he orders them to battle MechaMew2 using Pikachu. They attempt to command Pikachu, but Pikachu shocks the Rockets instead, knocking them into the cages and allowing Oak and Delia to escape. Giovanni is unconcerned with his prisoners' escape. He realizes that Pikachu's trainer is necessary to make it battle, so he orders Jessie, James, and Meowth to bring Ash to him. They agree and set off to capture Ash ("Double Trouble (Reprise)").

Meanwhile, as she and Brock search fruitlessly for Pikachu, Misty admits that she just wanted Ash to realize that he's alienating his friends—specifically, her. Brock realizes Misty really likes Ash, and Misty denies it by saying Brock wouldn't know anything about liking someone—after all, he's always chasing Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny ("Two Perfect Girls").

Not far away, Delia and Professor Oak continue their discussion about her past and conflict over whether or not to tell it to Ash. Meanwhile, Misty continues to lament over her feelings for Ash. Elsewhere, Ash tells himself that he may have to go on without Pikachu, even if it hurts ("I've Got a Secret"). Soon, all five of them converge in the forest. Delia tells Ash that Giovanni has Pikachu in his hideout and that Team Rocket kidnapped him. Ash is furious, determined to get his Pokémon back and win the Diamond Badge. Before he can leave, Delia tells Ash of her past with Giovanni. Ash is shocked by the news and is in a hurry to leave. Suddenly, Jessie and James appear on scooters, ordering Ash to come with them. The team is utterly shocked when Ash agrees to join them without a fight. The others try to follow, but Meowth says Giovanni only wanted Ash. As Ash and Team Rocket leave, Delia laments that she gave Ash even more of a reason to confront Giovanni. ("Everything Changes (Reprise 2)").

At his headquarters, Giovanni tells MechaMew2 that soon, their conquest of the world will begin. Ash runs in and demands that his Pikachu be returned. When Giovanni hears his surname and realizes he's Delia's son, Ash is angered and tells him to leave his mother out of this. Jessie and James enter announcing their capture of Ash, missing that he had already entered the arena, and celebrate having done two things correctly in one day. The Boss grows annoyed with them and orders them to leave, and they crash their scooters upon exiting. Joyfully reunited with Pikachu, Ash prepares to battle Giovanni and is shocked when he reveals himself to be the Gym Leader from the commercial. Giovanni mockingly gives Ash the Diamond Badge, saying he'll retrieve it after Ash loses.

Ash orders Pikachu to Thundershock, then Thunder MechaMew2, but the attacks do not affect it. MechaMew2 then returns the attacks, rendering Pikachu unable to battle. With that, Giovanni proclaims his victory because his Pokémon has now learned every single attack. Undaunted, Ash engages the Boss in a fistfight ("You Just Can't Win"). Tiring of the scuffle, Giovanni orders MechaMew2 to attack Ash with Hyper Beam, but Mewtwo appears to save Ash with a forcefield. He then attacks MechaMew2 with a collection of Ash's happy memories, love for Pokémon, and Misty. MechaMew2 speaks for the first time and rebels against Giovanni, revealing that it learned about love and goodness from Ash. Recognizing that Giovanni is evil, MechaMew2 feels it must stop his plans no matter the cost. MechaMew2 puts Giovanni in a headlock and prepares to Selfdestruct, telling Mewtwo to take an unconscious Ash somewhere safe. Mewtwo exits with Ash and Pikachu, but not before explaining to Giovanni that Ash was the one who defeated MechaMew2. Giovanni breaks free of MechaMew2's grip and runs just before it blows up.

In the forest, Ash's friends ask for an explanation of the recent events, but Ash can't remember Mewtwo's sudden appearance or how the battle ended. He does, however, understand that his mom is still his mom, and he loves her regardless of her past. Reaching into his pocket, Ash pulls out the Diamond Badge, saying that he must have won it after all. He gives the badge to Misty as her birthday present while everybody else celebrates his triumph ("Finale"). Just before curtain call, the entire human and Pokémon cast appear and dance, including Giovanni.

Musical Numbers[]

Act I[]

Act II[]



Cast of the musical.


The play received negative reception from critics. Little Review said "Maybe it's different in Japan, but it's hard to imagine a Japanese version of Pokémon Live!. This show may be based on televised anime, but its antecedents lie in American musicals from The King and I to Annie to The Lion King, with the Solid Gold Dancers and the Backstreet Boys mixed in. If you have a rudimentary knowledge of Pokémon and an enthusiastic underage companion, you'll find that you're having a good time even as your eyes roll towards the projection of Haunter on the ceiling."