Stars of Sesame Street in Ipswich
Sunny Day, sweepin’ the clouds away; on our way to where the air is sweet, can you tell us how to get, how to get to the Regent in St Helen’s Street. Entertainment writer WAYNE SAVAGE fulfils a childhood dream by talking with the cast of Sesame Street.
NOT everybody is as glad to meet me as I am them.
“Yeah, hi… are we done yet,” asks Oscar the Grouch, one of the stars of Sesame Street Live, Elmo Makes Music.
I promise not to take up too much of his time.
“Yeah, sure. I was just giving Slimey a mud bath.”
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Right, his pet worm. Does he perform in the show, coming to the Ipswich Regent this Sunday.
“No. All the bright lights, the singing and dancing, the happy families… he thinks it’s gross!”
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“Oh, Oscar,” says Telly Monster.
“We have a great time travelling with Sesame Street Live. We meet lots of great new people and we get to explore the whole country, sometimes other countries. I keep a journal of all the triangles I see during our travels.”
Luckily Telly, Elmo, Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Grover and Count von Count are more than happy to talk about the show which sees them and many more of your favourite friends from the show have fun dancing, singing and learning together.
“It is about meeting new people and making new friends. Oh, it is loads of fun. Take my word for it. You’ll love it. Big fun,” promises Grover, who’s travelled all over the States, Canada, Mexico, England, Australia, Japan and Germany with the show.
“You can expect lots of singing and dancing. I love seeing all my friends in the aisles dancing and having a great time; the people are my favourite part.”
It sounds like a rock concert for kids.
Youngsters will learn about friendship, acceptance, how to work together and how learning can be fun, chirps Big Bird.
Star of the show Elmo can’t wait to see everybody this Sunday.
“Elmo and his friends are in this show, with lights and music and dancing...”
“And cookies,” interrupts Cookie Monster.
“Yes and lots of cookies. Elmo gets to go all over the place and meet lots of new friends,” says Elmo, who particularly loves teaching everybody the letter of the day.
“Me like the letter of the day.”
“Cookie Monster,” laughs Elmo, “you always try to eat it.”
“Me not eat, me just taste.”
Elmo loves travelling with his best friends and making new ones in each new town.
“Me like making new friends too, especially new friends with cookies,” interrupts Cookie Monster again.
When not performing Elmo likes exploring new places.
“Me find bakeries,” says Cookie
Look out Greggs.
They all love performing.
“Me like dancing.”
“Yeah cookie,” laughs Elmo “Everybody likes dancing.”
Elmo is happy to have new friend and fairy in training Abby Cadabby on the tour.
“It’s so magic,” she says. “At first I was pretty scared, but Elmo and Big Bird and all my other friends were really nice to me on my first day.”
She still finds the time to practice with her magic wand but admits, embarassedly, “Sometimes when I practice with my wand, I accidentally turn things into pumpkins.”
How did that go over?
“It was okay. Elmo forgives Abby,” he says.
The cast love touring, sight-seeing when they can.
“It’s really exciting,” says Bert. “It’s hard to pack all of my favourite things in two suitcases, though. I have my paperclip collection, my pigeons and plenty of my favourite food—oatmeal.”
That doesn’t leave much room for his clothes and toothbrush.
“I bring some clean clothes, my toothbrush and my Rubber Duckie,” laughs Ernie, giving it a squeak.
All this travelling, don’t they miss Sesame Street?
“We get homesick sometimes, but it’s great to meet so many new friends and see so many interesting places,” adds Bert.
“I miss my own little bed now and then, but otherwise it’s just like Sesame Street - all of our friends travel with us,” says Ernie.
“It’s awful,” moans Oscar. “They’re all so happy all the time. They just love to drive me crazy with all of their music and their sightseeing. Blech.”
Sounds great to me.
“Me, too,” says Telly. “Quit being such a grouch, Oscar. There’s nothing quite like the spotlight. Sometimes I worry I’ll forget my lines, but every performance is an adventure. It’s amazing.”
“Yeah, amazingly boring,” laughs Oscar.
Don’t they ever get tired of singing and dancing?
“Sometimes, but we make sure to get plenty of rest between shows,” says Bert.
I guess rest is very important if they’re to stay so energetic and healthy.
“As Bert mentioned, we have to rest our minds and our bodies,” says Ernie. “It’s also very important to keep your body clean and eat healthy foods. It’s no fun to be sick.”
Telly puts lots of effort in dancing, making sure to get plenty of rest.
“If I get nervous or tired, I just think about triangles. That works every time.”
What about Oscar?
“Believe it or not, being grouchy can be a really great workout...”
“OSCAR,” shouts Telly.
But maybe he’s right, different things work for different people, monsters, grouches.
“Yeah. See, Telly? You’re not a half bad interviewer Wayne; now SCRAM!”