Sesame Street Live! brings the party to Gwinnett
By: Jon Gallo
Published: November 9, 2017
Melissa Gallagher said it doesn’t take her long to get into character when she dons the light blue dress and magic wand as Abby Cadabby for “Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!” — the role she’ll be playing this week as the show comes to Gwinnett.
“Abby’s bubbly and sparkly and wants to have fun, and that’s something I can relate to because that’s my personality,” Gallagher said. “But at the same time, there’s a lot of pressure since so many children and adults have grown up watching her and there’s expectations.”
Gallagher, 30, plays a fun-loving fairy known for her spellcasting in “Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!,” which visits Infinite Energy Arena this week. Abby is at the heart of the story, which features Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and Grover, who go on several kid-friendly adventures throughout the two-act, 75-minute show.
The furry creatures explore a wintry wonderland when Abby’s magic goes awry, take flight with Big Bird so they can to learn about some of his fabulous feathered friends, and discover new cultures in an interactive Spanish lesson with Rosita.
“It’s a musically driven show that includes the audience the whole time, so it’s very interactive,” said Gallagher, a native of Birmingham, Ala. “In normal shows, you are out there performing and the audience is just watching, so there’s that wall between the performers and audience. In our show, there is no wall.”
“Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!,” which is directed and choreographed by Paul Decker, is fueled by many of the songs, including “I Love Trash” and “C is for Cookie,” that have been featured on the TV show Sesame Street, which debuted in November 1969.
“The characters, songs and lessons of Sesame Street are timeless because adults and children feel encouraged to participate in the content,” said Nicole Feld, the show’s producer. “For this new approach to ‘Sesame Street Live!,’ my vision as a producer, and also as a parent, is to create an equally engaging live experience that welcomes the entire family to dance, sing and play with these fun characters and each other.”
The show came to fruition as part of a partnership between Feld Entertainment Inc. and the nonprofit educational organization Sesame Workshop.
“Sesame Workshop is proud to partner with Feld Entertainment on this new chapter for ‘Sesame Street Live!’” said Scott Chambers, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president and general manager of North America Media and Licensing. “We are both committed to creating experiences that deepen our connection with families, and this new production supports Sesame’s mission of helping children grow smarter, stronger and kinder in an unforgettable way.”
“Sesame Street Live! Let’s Party!” represents the next chapter for the lovable children’s TV show.
“The music and choreography are amazing, and the audience will really feel like they are a part of the show,” said Gallagher, who is making her debut as a Sesame Street character after being a dancer for Disney Cruise Line and Disney Live! “It’s a big honor to be part of the Sesame Street family because it’s something so many of us grew up watching. Parents watched it growing up, and now they get to share their experience with their kids who are watching it now.”
Gallagher urges the audience to arrive early. Before the show, children will be invited onto the stage to meet and take pictures with their favorite characters. Kids will also be given the chance to create artwork that could be displayed on stage during the show.
“We want kids to feel that they are part of the party in every way we can,” she said. “We know how much Sesame Street means to them.”