A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration – Review

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While we couldn’t attend this weekend’s A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration in New York City, we sent along our pal Chris Ragg, who wrote this review just hours after Friday’s show.  Thanks, Chris!

Chris Ragg – Sesame Street has been entertaining us all for the last 50 years and has been a constant in all our lives so what better way to celebrate but to add the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, with our familiar feathered and fuzzy pals but to put on a show A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration: 50 Years and Counting at the Rose Theatre, Lincoln Centre.

The show was full of surprises and familiarity; from the band marching into the theatre playing the “Sesame Street Theme”, to Ernie wearing just a towel with soap suds in his hair singing “Rubber Duckie”.

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I loved the banter between Ernie and Bert (both Eric and Peter are masters at it) who both donned tuxedos for the evening and acted as the hosts of the show. Ernie sang a beautiful rendition of “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon” with a number of characters joining him in my favourite Sesame song, while he and Bert later sang “It’s a Circle”.

Oscar’s “One of These Things” was incredibly funny and the banter between the grouch and the band was pure joy to watch.

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I loved how some more of the classic tunes were incorporated in to the show, with The Count singing a great arrangement “Pinball Number Count” and the favourite “Ladybugs’ Picnic.”

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It was great to see Hoots again, with Christopher Thomas Hayes doing a fantastic job and flawless performance of the character who felt right at home with the New York City Jazz Orchestra, playing his saxophone and singing “It Feels Good (When You Sing a Song)” and “Put Down the Duckie.”

“Sing”, just as popular as the theme of “Sesame Street”, was the closing song with the full cast, band and audience. The highlight was the full cast coming off the stage with the characters and singing in the audience. The band was fantastic, but the performers need a big shout out here. The show had them in all sorts of positions to make the iconic characters come to life (particularly Grover, who was popping up all over the theatre)

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One can’t help but think Sesame Street is still the juggernaut it once was — we need this show and characters more than ever in this pretty harsh world at the moment. Congratulations Sesame on a truely amazing milestone — here’s to the next 50!

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