Raggs is just like any other dog except he's huge, multicolored and plays in his own rock band.
Some may know him from the children's TV show "Raggs," which airs in 60 countries and is shown on San Francisco PBS affiliate KQED. The popular canine and four of his friends will perform in "Raggs Live! Dance Party" on Sunday at the Gallo Center for the Arts.
"It's a wonderful show," said Jason Priest, the production's touring director, who grew up in Modesto and graduated from Davis High School in 1988. "It's high energy, very interactive with the audience. There's an educational spin to it as well."
Over the years, the TV show has tackled such topics as conserving water, the joy of physical activity and adventures in reading.
Never miss a local story.
The live performance centers on a dance contest among Raggs and his friends Trilby, Pido, B. Max and Razzles. A Dance-O-Meter rates the dances, then the band combines all the movements into one huge dance. The show runs about an hour and 15 minutes, including an intermission.
Priest, who is based in Charlotte, N.C., has been a part of "Raggs" since it began as a live performance nearly a dozen years ago and helps writes the scripts. He was there when the show was first picked up by Australia's Southern Star production team and has seen it become an international phenomena.
"I've evolved with the company as the company's grown," Priest said.
A psychology major at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Priest said he never intended to get into the entertainment business and fell into it because of friends. He doesn't have children but tests scripts with young neighbors who live around him.
He has helped coordinate tours all over the world, including in Europe and Asia. Normally, he wouldn't travel with the show, but he decided to this time because he wanted to go to Modesto to visit family and friends.
Priest said he has enjoyed his career in children's entertainment.
"Producing the show, it's a lot of stress, but it's a lot of fun," he said. "I love it."