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Sesame Street Live: When Elmo Grows Up

Discussion in 'Sesame Appearances' started by SSLFan, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    Well, I just found these new videos of the When Elmo Grows Up show, and the poster claims his best friend plays the part of Big Bird in the show. He also points out his friend also plays a fire hydrant in Cookie's firefighter scene(the first time in history a performer who plays Big Bird plays another minor role:( ).




  2. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Wait, you mean the puppateers actually loop in the voices for the SS Live performances while it's other characters in the costumes? I never thought about it before. That does sound about right though, because when I was a kid I remember seeing the show 'Big Bird & Company' at Sesame Place and I recall that the voices sounded really good. I don't know I'm just curious about this because I have seen clips of SS Live on You Tube. I don't know. Just something I wanted to think about and to get rid of the 'you have not posted in several weeks' message. Lol.
  3. StarrFilter

    StarrFilter Well-Known Member


    Well, SSL fan. I'm Ryan... the guy who posted those vids on myspace. And yes the guy who plays Big Bird AND the taller fire hydrant is my best friend Christopher Ellis who I toured in Dragon Tales Live with. This also is Not the first time in history that the performer of Big Bird also plays a minor character. I know this because I've seen him in other shows. In Super Grover! Ready for Action he also played a "Number 0" and "dancing broccoli" When he did 1-2-3...Imagine he also played an octopus and a butterfyly. And when he did "Let's Be Friends" he played one of the jitterbugs during Roxy Marie's blacklight number. So yeah, being that I worked for VEE for a season and still have quite a few friends who work for the company... I know alot about it. :wisdom:
    So yes, Christopher Ellis plays Big Bird in When Elmo Grows Up. Any other questions?
  4. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    Wow! Thanks alot for that info! I had no idea he played Big Bird in all those shows. Has anyone who played Elmo do a minor characther(that's probably rare, lol).

    It's pretty funny since all the shows you've listed I thought Big Bird was in the show a whole lot than in WEGU. I would have never thought his performer would be doing a minor role also. Also, do you know how long it takes to get in and out of the costume? I noticed in 1-2-3 Imagine, after the octupus scene, Big Bird was back onstage not long after that.

    So, you mention you worked for VEE yourself? Did you perform onstage or did you work in another area?

    LOL. Sorry for all these questions, but it's very rare someone can talk to an actual person whose worked for VEE.:insatiable:

    Hope you can get back soon!:)
  5. StarrFilter

    StarrFilter Well-Known Member

    It varies from show to show if Elmo or any character plays another minor role. I know for a fact that in 1-2-3...Imagine! Baby Bear was the only character who stayed in costume the whole entire show. And in the theater version of that same show, NONE of the characters stayed in one costume the entire show. If you've seen that show, you know there where a TON of minor and secondary characters throughout like Rosita's Abuela, Baby Bear's Uncle Grizzly and Aunt Ursula, Sea Creatures in Bert's scene, African Dancers in Elmo's scene, etc...

    I know for sure that the Elmo performer played minor characters in "1-2-3...Imagine!", "Let's Play School", "Big Bird's Sunny Day Camp Out" "Out of this World", and "Elmo Makes Music" (imagine that, LOL)

    I played Quetzal and Nippy the Snow Dog in Dragon Tales Live: Journey to Crystal Cave. I was also one of the Live Performers (Greeter #1) at the beginning of the show
  6. StarrFilter

    StarrFilter Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah. As far as how long it takes to change from one muppet costume to another... It depends. Some characters will have an entire scene and song to do a change, while some may have to change in as little as 90 seconds. I know when Chris did Let's Be Friends he had to go from Big Bird to jitterbug in 90 seconds and after he did the tiring Night Bug Boogie Dance, he had to go right back in the bird in 90 seconds.
  7. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    Gee, I never would have guessed that EVERYONE(with the exception of Baby Bear), was in and out of costume for 1-2-3...Imagine. Not that it's a big deal or anything, but was there any reason why Baby Bear wasn't also given a minor role to play?

    And just a wild guess, I think I know what parts the Elmo performer might have played:D :

    1-2-3...Imagine!: Possibly one of those sea creatures for Bert's scene? He was absent from Ernie's "Good Ship Rubber Duckie" song.

    Out of This World: One of those dancers during Bert's disco duck number. It's pretty obvious since Elmo wasn't seen until the second act! lol.

    Big Bird's Sunny Day Campout: Honestly, I have no clue on this. I'm guessing maybe one of those dancers from Zoe's "I'm Flying" song, but Elmo had just done a scene not long before.

    Elmo Makes Music: Well, the show was originally called Everyone Makes Music, so I could see this happening. I'm thinking that maybe the Elmo performer might have performed one of those birds from Big Bird's "Rockin' Robin" song.

    Let's Play School: I haven't seen this one. If it's no trouble, could you give a brief description on what this one is about?

    I also thought it was pretty cool you worked for DTL. I've seen Missing Music Mystery(the very first show) and The Riddle of Rainbow River, but I haven't seen the one you've mentioned. I was supposed to go see that show, but a family issue came up and I had missed it! I'm sure it was pretty good though.:)
  8. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    Wow! Just three minutes! That's pretty impressive. After all the bird costume does look pretty big and heavy(iv'e heard it's the most expensive costume), I thought it would be impossible for a person to go in and out of the costume.

    Do you guys ever get a break during the performance? Like just relaxing while others are out performing? Or is your only rest time during the 15-minute intermission? I must say, that job seems very demanding, but I guess it pays off seeing all those kids faces light up when your'e onstage!;)
  9. StarrFilter

    StarrFilter Well-Known Member

    You would be right about all the Elmo-ness.:wisdom:

    And there's no particular reason why Baby Bear didn't play a minor character.

    Let's Play School was basically a pretend day of school headed by "Professor Grover" And he gave all the muppets the assignment to "Show and Tell" about something very important to them by the end of the day. In the beginning of the show, they build a bus to drive to school. Throughout the show they have different classes in this order:

    Roll Call (they sung a really cool rap song called "the whatta whatta name game),

    Spelling (Bert and Ernie taught about Q and U sticking together like best friends. They sang "It takes Two"),

    Music (Prairie Dawn, Betty Lou, and Grundgetta helped teach music with the instruments they brought for Show and Tell. Grundgetta tap danced on a Large set of drums.)

    Reading (They act out Old McDonald and sing the song...big hoe down dance number)
    Recess (Intermission:p )

    Safety (Bert and Ernie are traffic officers after recess and sing Safety Signs, which is a parody of Hand Jive from Grease)

    Math (a blacklight number with the Count)

    Special Guest (Cookie Monster visits the school pretending to be the neighborhood FireFighter... it's the same scene that they do in When Elmo Grows Up)
    Throughout the show Big Bird has the conflict of not knowing what to show for show and tell. At the end of the show he listens to his heart and realizes that his friends are most importrant. He sing a song called "My Friends" which is quite possibly the most high energy Finale song ever written for a Sesame Street Live show. This is my favorite SSL show of all time. I saw it in 91 when I was in kindergarten and in 96 when I was in 5th grade. I hope they bring it back a 3rd time.

    And yes whenever a character is not onstage they sit infront of a fan backstage. If they have time, they can actuall remove their head. Otherwise, they have to wait until intermission.
  10. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    Wow. Let's Play School seemed like a really interesting show. If I'm correct, Jim's Ernie was in this show wasn't it? And I didn't even know they used the Firefighter song in this show. I wonder if the Big Bird performer was the fire hydrant in that scene! lol.

    You know it seems like the Let's Play School show followed the same format from When I Grow Up(the original show from 1993, not the current When Elmo Grows Up one). The muppets are featured in huge dance numbers about what they want to be when they grow up, except for Big Bird, who doesn't know what he wants to be. I noticed some of the show's original storyline remained, with some minor changes.

    -Instead of Big Bird opening the show, Big Bird and Elmo open it.

    -Instead of Elmo wanting to be a cowboy, Telly is(although in the opening number, Telly is seen talking to the Count about how he is going to be a baseball player(like in the original), why is that?)

    -The entire scene with Prarrie and the other girl muppets is replaced by an Abby Caddaby song.

    -Instead of Cookie Monster being a chef, he is a firefighter.

    -Telly's baseball scene is cut, and is replaced with an Elmo's World segment.

    -Instead of Roxy Marie being the train engineer, it's Baby Bear(I personally think Roxy makes a better train engineer than Baby Bear!)

    Everything else remains the same, with the exception of how the stage looks. The basically sucked all the good stuff out. And the bird's stage time is definately reduced. This just gives me more the reason to dislike remakes. Now it just makes me wonder what this year's new show is about.

    But anyways, I'm surprised my guesses were correct! It's been awhile since I've seen most of them shows. I remember when I saw Big Bird's Sunny Day Campout, we had front row seats, and I was able to get a glimpse of backstage! I remember seeing the Elmo performer take the head off the costume. Imagine how my face was, lol!

    And thanks once again for that cool info. I always like hearing cool stuff like this!;)
  11. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    So, they do have the actual muppateers do the voices while others play the characters. That sounds interesting. I'd like to see one of those some day.
  12. StarrFilter

    StarrFilter Well-Known Member

    Well Let's Play School actually came first. It debut for the 90-91 season. And then the first When I Grow Up was in 93, remounted in 98... and then When Elmo Grows Up for the 07 season. I've seen it (obviously from the videos I took, LOL!) So yeah, I noticed all those changes too. It's funny, in some scenes you can still hear Roxy Marie and Grundgetta's voices singing on the tracks, even though they're just understudies now.
  13. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    You can also tell the show is old by how Elmo's voice sounds. It sounds more innocent and cuter than today's Elmo!:D
  14. SSLFan

    SSLFan Well-Known Member

    Yeah it's funny. I wonder...do people still know who Roxy is? I know in some places i've read, most people mention her name, even though she is retired from the actual tv show. I have to admit, I was quite fond of Roxy. They should really bring her back on the show.

    This may seem crazy, but Roxy was another reason why I LOVED going to SSL in my earlier years. It just didn't seem like SSL without Roxy. hehe.
  15. StarrFilter

    StarrFilter Well-Known Member

    Prairie Dawn was always my favorite girl. I'm glad VEE's got her talking in the shows again. Not just being the small u/s
  16. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry ... I just have to nitpick ... but 90 seconds is a minute and a half, not three whole minutes. :p
  17. SesameStreetGuy

    SesameStreetGuy Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone, finally crawled out of my rock.:search:

    I remember Let's Play School as well. The show was interesting, yes. Funny thing is I saw it back in 1998 at the Lowell Memorial Autotorium here in MA, and the show toured way before that back around 90' and maybe 95' too. Sometimes the tours at the Lowell MA theatre were randomly chose, or took a long while to get there. I remember Big Bird & The ABC's came in 1994 to that same theatre and I thought it stopped touring by 91'.

    Anyway, I actually remember going to that show, I can't believe it was already 10 years ago. I know when I saw it Barkley nor any Honkers made an apperance, guess the peformers for them were absent. Weird thing was they included Zoe in this version I saw, but she had no speaking lines, neither did Elmo if I recall.

    I remember the part about Professor Grover coming out, and the characters pretty much were all 'What?', and Grover proclaims he was in charge and was gonna give a 'Gold Pickle' to all the students if they did good on their spelling tests. Poor Grover mixed up as usual. LOL

    That 'Whatta Whatta Name Game' was a sick song, I wish I could hear it agian. I actually thought they were singing 'Wubba Wubba Name Game' LOL.

    During the Music Class part, I remember Grungetta picked some guy from the audience to come up on stage and she had him assist her by playing some large cymbals.

    I also remember after Bert and Ernie singing about Q & U, the curtains closed on them and these two random anything muppets, male and female, came out and sang something like a small duet, and I know it lasted like 15 seconds before the curtains opened and everyone came out, and the two AMs dissapeared, although the male AM did appear in the 'Hand Jive' parody number later on.

    The Count's blackout number rocked, I remember the 'dream' sequence where it had some Cirque du Soleil type feeling to it. I just remember these two 'headless' basketball players running out past the stage and a giant butterfly, hahaha, and knowing that was suppose to be the 'Math Class' number, god knows looking back, what the heck it was I saw. The Count always, and will always be the best.

    The finale was sweet, I do remember Big Bird listening to his hear, and he opened up the curtains for the whole Let's Play School cast showing a giant curtain illustrated with a portrait of 'My Friends', showing all of Big Bird's friends on it leading to the last song.

    Yeah, good times, funny thing I remember, it was in Jan of 98, and the roads were real slippery that night, and alot of people didn't show up to the show even though the show itself still went on, so my mother assist we move to the other side of the room for a better view, and boy, did we.

    It would be cool if it came back, probably would have alot more modifications so it might be better if the show was kept in vault.:batty:
  18. StarrFilter

    StarrFilter Well-Known Member

    Each SSL show tours for 3 seasons (sometimes 4). The 1st and 2nd years are the big full-scale arena tours. The 3rd (or 4th) year of each show is the smaller scaled-down, "theater version". The theater tour sometimes combines characters into one track (like having Cookie Monster and Count played by the same performer). And sometimes characters just get cut all together in the theater version. That would explain why you didn't see Barkley or one of the Honkers. The other Honker was an understudy character, so that's probably why you didn't see him. Zoe was the small understudy character for that show, that's why she didn't talk. The understudy characters never have lines so, that the performer inside can easily jump into a different role at a moments notice, without having to use a seperate vocal track.
    I remember the Q and U duet in that show was actually sung by costume character versions of the letters Q and U
  19. SesameStreetGuy

    SesameStreetGuy Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the Q & U was probably the duet I saw, but for some reason they didn't use the letters to sing it, but two random Anything Muppets. Weird huh?
  20. SesameStreetGuy

    SesameStreetGuy Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure I isn't in the new 'Elmo Grows Up' version, but it bares asking. They they include that scene before 'I Love Trash' where there was kind of Nutcracker Ballet dance performed by Oscar and Grungetta. I vaguley remember seeing that back at the Lowell Theatre in Jan 95' when I saw the original version of 'When I Grow Up'. I just remember that part being a blackout and some creepy wooden soldier came out marching, and you can hear :grouchy: groaning about it.

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