Originally published April 8, 2018
Our kids live in a world with no absence of entertainment. In addition to all the wonderful opportunities our area provides kids to play outdoors, be social, learn, exercise, and explore – there’s also so much in media that’s ready to entertain! And while many media sources are fleeting, a few stand the test of time. Sesame Street, clearly, needs no introduction. So what makes it such head and shoulders above the rest? In preparation for the Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party! show at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia this weekend, I caught up with performer Liz Sanford to discuss the value that Sesame Street can bring to all children.
Liz, who plays Oscar the Grouch, was a treat to talk with. She possesses such a clear reverence for this show and everything it stands for. We discussed how difficult it can be to stay positive and motivated as a performer. The audition process can be brutal! But the message of Sesame Street is a constant reminder to be positive and persevere. She internalizes the message herself, and proudly helps spread the word to others in Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!.
Oscar’s character provides parents with teachable moments, and her love for Oscar grows the more she performs with this group. Despite his gruff and grumpy disposition, deep down he has a heart of gold. She notes that, “In Sesame Street, they teach how people are different. How we need to be kind and accepting – to understand each other. Oscar is good way to teach kids that people won’t be happy all the time, but we should still be kind and show each other love.”
Additionally, the show often addresses important, “big,” issues that parents inevitably will address with their children at some point. The show thus serves as a positive springboard to trigger those conversations. Kids can connect with the material they’ve seen, which allows parents to address these topics in a developmentally-appropriate way. The show’s continued ability to maintain relevance while entertaining children is a testament to why it has “stood the test of time.”
The show looks to be a great time! Audience members will be treated to character interactions in the lobby about 30-60 minutes before the show. Liz, who’s also an aspiring puppeteer, plays Maya here. You’ll find “her” at the Community Center Information Booth. Maya is volunteering on Sesame Street to help with the party. She’ll play some number games and sing songs with kids to get their “brain’s started and ready for the show!”. She’ll even learn their names and help them count along with her.
The show itself runs for about 90 minutes with a 15 minute intermission. It’s interactive and highly engaging – so the kids will love it! The official description reads:
“Jump to the beat with your friends on Sesame Street! Introducing an all-new, interactive show that unfolds on one of the world’s most famous streets at the funniest, furriest party in the neighborhood… get ready for Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!Join in the fun as the Sesame Street community discovers choosing a party theme is more challenging than they could have ever imagined. Learn new songs and sing along to familiar favorites with Oscar and Cookie Monster; build a snowman with Elmo; flap your wings with Big Bird; marvel at Abby’s magic; be amazed when Super Grover flies; and move to the rhythm with Rosita. Celebrate all of the people in your neighborhood at this high-energy, interactive family experience. Anything’s possible when everyone who shares something in common gets together. Kick your feet to the beat at Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!”
Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party! will be at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia from Saturday, April 14 – Monday, April 16th. Tickets start at $15 and are available at www.sesamestreetlive.com. Some shows offer a pre-show experience for an additional charge as well.
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