Music, beloved characters and feel-good messages will star in the latest Sesame Street Live production coming to Star Plaza Theatre next week.
"Elmo Makes Music" will be performed May 8 through May 12 at Merrillville's Star Plaza Theatre. The show is currently starring on stage at Rosemont's Akoo Theatre through Sunday and will also travel to Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, Ill., for performances May 14 and 15.
"The show 'Elmo Makes Music' is Sesame Street Live's most popular show," said Christopher Ellis, who stars as Big Bird in the production.
The plot line of Elmo Makes Music" revolves around live character Jenny, a music teacher, who's traveled to Sesame Street to spread her love and knowledge of the beautiful art and various musical instruments. Once she's there, though, she discovers her instruments are gone and the popular Sesame Street characters come to her aid and also help discover new instruments and the ability to make music as a team.
"We get the audience involved throughout the whole show," said Ellis, adding interaction with fans is always important in any Sesame Street Live production.
Characters such as Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, The Count and others star in the show and move the musical storyline along.
Ellis, who's performed as Big Bird in Sesame Street Live shows for the past 10 years, said it's a joy to don the massive costume. But there are also some challenges to moving around in the iconic bird costume.
"But I (exude) a lot of energy" in bringing Big Bird to life," he said.
Ellis said he admires the messages the Sesame Street Live shows and the television episodes bring to children.
'"Elmo Makes Music' exposes children to the arts and it's also an education about being yourself," Ellis said. "we mustn't forget about the importance of the arts."
About the longevity and popularity of "Sesame Street" on television, Ellis said "Parents know they can relax when they put their children in front of the television and know they're going to be entertained and educated. They're going to get something out of it."
Ellis never tires of entertaining youngsters.
"I love doing what I do. If I can make someone happy, why not?"