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Stage review: ‘Sesame Street Live’ celebrates diversity

02/21/2014 3:42 PM

03/06/2014 12:39 PM

Adults dressed up in fuzzy costumes can be frightening to little ones whose imaginations may fear the worst.

Enter Sesame Street Live: Make A New Friend, which runs through Sunday at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie. The show is an engaging spectacle of life-sized characters from the beloved PBS television show geared toward toddlers.

The storyline follows Grover’s excitement to spend some time with his friend Chamki who is visiting from her native land of India. Grover has a full list of things to do with his friend. When she arrives, Chamki meets all of Grover’s friends including Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and, of course, Elmo. Abby and Chamki hit it off immediately and set out on their own to play, which leaves Elmo and Grover questioning their true friendship.

As with the TV show, many of the song and dance numbers teach basic skills such as counting and ABCs. However, the live version mixed in a genuinely sweet lesson on celebrating cultural differences. Chamki teaches her new friends about her country through dance.

Even though the stage setting seemed a bit stereotypical -- Do modern Indian children ride on elephants in front of the Taj Mahal? -- the message of accepting one’s special qualities and cultural similarities resounded.

Adults will especially like the Bruno Mars-styled Count Me In number that closes the first act and an inspired rendition of Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger in which the characters show off their distinct moves by exchanging their names: “I got the Moves Like Elmo...”

For the younger crowd, the experience will delight and captivate. And there’s nothing scary about that.

SESAME STREET LIVE: MAKE A NEW FRIEND

Run time: 90 minutes including one 15-minute intermission

Recommended for: Ages 6 and younger

Good to know: Children ages 1 and older must have a ticket; Children younger than 1 are free but must sit on a parent’s lap

Where: Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie

When: Through Sunday, February 23

Cost: $12-$65

Info: 972-854-5076; sesamestreetlive.com

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