“Sesame Street” has been delighting people on television since 1969, as iconic characters like Ernie, Cookie Monster and Big Bird have been singing their way into the hearts of children and adults alike.
Thanks to a live production of the show — complete with music, jokes and of course, life-size reproductions of the puppets, youngsters now have the opportunity to get “on their way to where the air is sweet” and visit Sesame Street in person.
The Patriot Center will welcome Elmo, Zoe, Oscar the Grouch and the rest of the friendly friends as part of the production, “Can’t Stop Singing” from Dec. 13-16.
“Sesame Street has been around for many generations and this is the 33rd season of the live show, so people can come out and enjoy the fun,” said Cyndi Graves, performance director of Sesame Street Live. “It’s geared toward preschoolers but enjoyable for parents and grandparents, too.”
Even if your family has seen a Sesame Street Live show before, this year’s production is much different and offers something new and exciting.
For the first time ever, Sesame Street Live is offering a Play Zone area on the concourse.
“The Play Zone is an interactive area that children can explore prior to each show for free that allows them to sit on the steps of 1-2-3 Sesame Street, explore Big Bird’s nest, take photos in Oscar’s trashcan and have fun,” Graves said. “There will also be live performances an hour before the show.”
Some of the characters will stop by and say “hello” at the Play Zone and it will give the children something to do rather than just fiddle around in their seats waiting for the show to start.
“We opened this in Minnesota this year and this will be the first time it’s in Fairfax. It’s been a really welcome addition to the show,” Graves said. “For those people who can’t afford the up-close seats, they now have the opportunity to give a high-five to a couple of characters and get pictures. It’s an interactive place where kids can let all their energy go and they can then sit and watch and get really excited about the show.”
The storyline for this year’s show finds Elmo getting his furry fingers on Abby Cadabby’s magic wand, and he transforms Sesame Street into a nonstop, all-singing, all-dancing musical montage.
“Elmo uses the wand to cast a spell that makes everyone sing,” Graves said. “We have some great musical numbers. A couple will be songs children know from the show and then we have some new songs.”
Grover and Baby Bear team to sing about their “highs and lows,” Cookie Monster sings about “fast and slow,” Bert and Ernie converse in song and there’s plenty more. There are also songs that are put in to keep the adults entertained, such as Gloria Estefan’s “The Rhythm is Going to Get You,” complete with a conga line.
“We want everyone to get up on their feet, clap and stamp their feet,” Graves said. “Keeping the attention of kids is always a challenge, but the show flows so well from song to song that it keeps everyone entertained.”
Sesame Street Live always looks to bring in a cast of its most recognizable and popular characters and tries to change it up every once in a while. This year, Murray will be making his first appearance and old characters like The Count, Prairie Dawn and Hoot the Owl will be stopping by.
“Can’t Stop Singing” also will offer a show within a show with the popular “Elmo the Musical” segment from the TV show included.
The show runs in two 35-minute acts, with a 15-minute intermission. The Play Zone will be open during the break.
There’s even an opportunity for those who buy VIP Sunny Seats to experience a pre-show family photo opportunity and meet and greet with Elmo and another Sesame Street Live character and obtain access to the Sesame Street Live Play Zone prior to the general public. This takes place 90-minutes prior to show time.
“This is our first time on the road with the Play Zone and some new characters so it’s going to be a great time,” Graves said. “Seeing the look on the faces of children when they see Abby Cadabby or Big Bird is just priceless.”