Many of us grew up watching ‘Sesame Street,’ and going to “Sesame Street Live” shows is something that families have enjoyed for years. Well, get ready for some more enjoyment, as the Vee Corporation brings a new Sesame Street Live show to Madison Square Garden. Yes, it’s true–from Feb. 17-20, families will be able to enjoy a brand new show, “Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Green Thumb” which will teach children about the ecosystem and the planet.
Imagine watching “Sesame Street” as a young person and then growing up to actually get to portray one of the characters in your favorite childhood show. That’s the reality for Angelo Williams. This young African-American from Detroit happily shared that he grew up watching “Sesame Street” on television and learned a lot from watching the show. He is proud to have previously performed in three other Sesame Street Live shows as well as this current show. In “Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Green Thumb” he is playing everyone’s favorite, tall yellow friend: Big Bird.
Williams recently spoke with the AmNews about the show, his role and the importance of “Sesame Street” in children’s lives.
AmNews: How is it to perform in “Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Green Thumb,” which is making its New York debut?
AW: It is wonderful. It’s such a great feeling to be able to come on stage and hear the audience cheering when they see their favorite characters come out.
AmNews: What lessons does it teach a young audience about the ecosystem and how to take care of the planet?
AW: It’s sending a message to help you take care of plants, soil, sunlight and water. It does also touch upon preserving water–to turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth.
AmNews: What are some of the musical numbers that families will recognize and how do they help to bring the message of the show across?
AW: I think the music helps a lot when it’s a catchy tune and the words are changed to what the show is about. We have a song called “New Point of View,” but it’s from “New Attitude” and the adults will recognize it. There’s also the familiar song, “What’s Going On.” We have blues, rock and pop. It’s ‘NSync meets Sesame Street.
AmNews: You’ve played Big Bird in past Sesame Street shows like “Super Grover, Ready For Action.” What is the challenge to doing that character?
AW: The challenge in doing that character is making sure that I’m keeping him very lifelike and not mechanical and making sure that I’m making my eye level with the other characters as true as possible, so that it looks like Big Bird and Bert are having a moment.
AmNews: Is there a special pressure that comes with being Big Bird since he is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable Sesame Street characters?
AW: It is a little bit. The more and more I do Big Bird, the more I get comfortable with the character. The pressure is that I’m doing my steps right. I make sure that my show is plain and my movements are readable.
AmNews: How do you prepare yourself to be comfortable in that enormous costume?
AW: One of the main things I do to prepare myself for the costume is making sure I take care of my instrument–my body–eating the right foods and getting the proper rest. I’m keeping myself together so that I’m ready to entertain and put on a wonderful show for the children, adults and the families.
AmNews: What’s the best part about being in a Sesame Street Live show?
AW: The best thing for me is performing. I’ve been a performer for 18 years. I love the energy rush you get from the audience when they’re cheering and laughing. It gives you a big rush–it’s so exciting and fun.
AmNews: What types of dance moves can the audience expect to see at “Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Green Thumb”?
AW: Beyonce type movements, turns, high kicks, pop and a little hip-hop.
Take the little ones to a wholesome show that the entire family can enjoy. Get tickets for “Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Green Thumb” and remember, African-American Angelo Williams is the one entertaining you in the Big Bird costume. Go enjoy all the Sesame Street characters, fun songs and music and let the children enjoy some life lessons how to care for the earth. For tickets, go to madisonsquare.gardenboxoffice.org.