Review: ‘Sesame Street Live!’

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By Elyse Trevers

“C” is for caring, community, confidence and of course, celebration! That is the best way to describe “Sesame Street Live!” at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden. As we walked down the hallway to the theater before the show even started, the children were encouraged to draw pictures at tot-sized tables or get their faces painted with rainbows and jewels. All of this was free, an added bonus that made the young ones I brought along very happy before the curtain even came up.

The show is colorful, cheerful and full of confetti. As an extra bonus, my companions even learned a little something during the 45-minute production.

The story is simple. The directors of the Sesame Street Community Center – Caleb and Casey – are looking for a way to gather friends to celebrate the kindness and caring at the Center. However, they can’t come to an agreement about the party’s theme, so they decide to survey all the regulars on Sesame Street including Big Bird, Oscar, and Rosita. The Muppet who received the biggest fanfare of all was Elmo, who donned a pair of sunglasses as he danced down the stairs of 123 Sesame Street.

Through catchy, sometimes familiar songs and dancing, audience members old and young  enjoy a musical way to come to a compromise – also begins with a “C” – while, in true Sesame Street fashion, learning Spanish, definitions, and numbers

Unsurprisingly, both of my little ones chose Elmo as their favorite character. “He was really funny.“

For those of us who remember the original Hooper’s Store, “Sesame Street Live!” brought back feelings of nostalgia. We grew up with The Count, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and sang-along in Madison Square Garden as they performed all-time favorites such as “C is for Cookie” and “I Love Trash.” We also noticed that they haven’t aged a day!

The youngsters’ favorite moments in the show were the huge beach balls passed through the audience and other interactive gimmicks like snow bubbles made of soap that fell from the sky.

My companions are on the age cusp where this show could have been seen as “too babyish,” but the diverse cast, modern music styles, the use of screens they’ve become all too accustomed to, plus loads of confetti made this a show for all ages to enjoy.

For 50 years children have learned from Sesame Street. They have been introduced to the alphabet and numbers and, more importantly, lessons about getting along. That hasn’t changed and “Sesame Street Live!” is a wonderful way to introduce youngsters to live theater.

Waiting for the LIRR, neither of the children could stop talking about the show. Exhausted from all the fun, the little ones zonked out as soon as we got on the train home.

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