When I was a kid, I loved "Sesame Street." I mean, I really loved "Sesame Street." In addition to faithfully watching it sometimes twice every day, I had a multitude of books, stuffed animals and records — I'm dating myself here — based on the award-winning children's program. I wanted nothing more than to visit the actual Sesame Street and meet Grover, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird and my other favorite characters.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that I hoped my daughter would share my enthusiasm for the fictional road where there are nothing but "sunny days."
Elmo TV," which meant she wanted to watch the "Elmo's World" segment on "Sesame Street."
While her realm of favorite characters has expanded to include the likes of Caillou and Dora the Explorer, she still enjoys Elmo and the Sesame Street gang. So, when I found out "Sesame Street Live" was coming to Hershey Theater in Hershey, Pa., I knew one mother-and-daughter duo who would be attending. I figured that seeing the characters live on stage was the next best thing to visiting the actual Sesame Street.
Much to my delight, the tickets were very reasonably priced, so I opted for the best seats available — fourth row, right orchestra.
The show was set for Saturday, Jan. 12. After battling a persistent cough for nearly a month, it finally got the best of me. I became more sick, and had to leave work early on Thursday. Friday was a lost cause, too, except that I finally went to the doctor, and was given antibiotics.
I felt like a new woman on Saturday. After going for a morning haircut, my daughter took an early nap, and I got her dressed and into the car in plenty of time to head to Hershey for the 5:30 p.m. event.
When we arrived, the lobby was swelling with dozens of toddlers and preschoolers and their parents, plus vendors hawking everything from chocolate — this was Hershey, after all — to overpriced souvenirs. Understandably, the scene was a bit chaotic for her and me. Once we were allowed to enter the theater, though, we quickly found our seats. I kept her occupied during the 20 minutes until the curtain rose by checking out the theater and speculating which characters would perform first.
When the show began, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Count, Telly, Cookie Monster, Elmo, and finally, Grover, took the stage, singing and dancing. The musical's theme was "Elmo's Super Heroes." In the story, Super Grover lost his powers and Sesame Street needs a hero. Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and their friends sang and danced through fun lessons on healthful habits. In the end, even Cookie Monster discovered the joy and benefits of eating "colors," nutritious vegetables instead of a deluge of sugary confections.
It would've been nice, but at age 2 1/2, I know my daughter didn't "get" all the lessons from the show; however, she thoroughly enjoyed seeing the life-size characters perform just a few feet in front of her. In fact, she got up and danced in the aisle more than once. She was also the only kid I saw who tried to run on stage to dance with the puppets. Advised? No. But a sign that my child loved the show? Absolutely.
Seeing the characters perform even took me back to my childhood, watching the show, singing along with my records and wishing I could see the characters in person. And now that I finally had the chance, I can't think of anyone I would rather visit "Sesame Street" with.
First-time mother Amy Dulebohn is a page designer and feature writer at The Herald-Mail. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.