Posts Tagged ‘Sesame Street’

Sandy Hook: From Broadway With Love

bannerIt’s kinda crazy how blessed I am with the people in my life. New friends I’ve met along this twisty path, old dear comrades of the ages, and so many in between, inspiring the heck outta me at every turn. When people give free reign to their brilliance, especially in service to others, it makes me ridiculously proud. Two dear friends I’ve loved for many years are involved in this laudable and hugely graceful project–one as organizer and one as performer–they rock my world.

From Broadway With Love, a Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook is a beautiful act of generosity: Monday night, January 28, at 7:00PM, some of the finest Broadway performers you could hope for are putting on a show to raise funds for the United Way of Western Connecticut’s Sandy Hook School Fund. In response to the tragedy at that school in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, when we all lost a piece of ourselves, the entire nation (and communities well beyond US borders) mourned. On this special Monday night, Broadway producers, stars, dancers, writers, and directors, lend their hearts and talents in support of the community hard at work healing. Families affected by the event and first-responders all get in free, as will as many other students and families and teachers and staff as they can manage. The rest of us can buy tickets or support from afar to make this evening of song and dance and laughter, and of course tears, happen. Taking the stage at the Palace Theater in Waterbury (20 minutes from the school) will be bunches of names you know, and more you’ll be happy to learn: Brian Stokes Mitchell, Linda Eder, Stephen Schwartz, Mickey Dolenz, Marc Shaiman, Michael Cerveris, Christine Ebersole, Frank Wildhorn, Nikki Blonskey, Andrea McArdle, Alan Muraoka and the Muppets and Sesame Street cast members…and so many more.

It’s about pouring out  warmth from hearts opened wide. It is what we all are up to, and I could not be more proud of everyone who is taking this on. Find out more and see if you can get a ticket here, and grab your wallet so you can donate here.

Hurricane Sweeps Through Sesame Street

OK–my friends over at Sesame Street (I really only have one friend over at Sesame Street, but the rest seem like family after decades in my living room–and the one friend is a really good friend, so I should at least get double credit. Hi Alan!) pretty much always handle this stuff right. On tomorrow’s episode (Friday, November 9…check your local listings here for the time in your region), a hurricane has hit the neighborhood, and Big Bird’s nest has been destroyed. With the help of friends and volunteers, he is able to rebuild, and while he mourns the loss of the place that held so many fantastic memories for him, he comes to realize that everyone’s safety and the caring people around him are what really matter most, and new, wonderful memories are coming soon.

I just can’t imagine how riveted kids from the Sandy-struck area will be (hopefully power is back on in more homes, and wouldn’t it be great if shelters turned on PBS for the youngest residents…and teachers in the classrooms…) Seeing the characters on TV sharing the difficulties you feel is an amazing feeling. Rock On Sesame Street, Sesame Workshop, and everyone helping with the healing!

The show’s official description: On Friday, we’ll be airing a very special episode of Sesame Street.

A hurricane has swept through Sesame Street and everyone is working together to clean up the neighborhood. When Big Bird checks on his home, he is heartbroken to find that the storm has destroyed his nest. Big Bird’s friends and neighbors gather to show their support and let him know they can fix his home, but it will take time. While everyone on Sesame Street spends the next few days cleaning up and making

repairs, Big Bird still has moments where he is sad, angry, and confused. His friends help him cope with his emotions by talking about what happened, drawing pictures together, and giving him lots of hugs. They also comfort Big Bird by offering him temporary places he can eat, sleep, and play. Big Bird remembers all the good times he had at his nest and realizes that once it is rebuilt, there are more good times and memories to come. Finally the day has come where most of the repairs to Big Bird’s home are done and his nest is complete. As he is about to try it out, though, the city nest inspector says it not safe, yet, because the mud isn’t dry. Big Bird is sad that he has to wait another day, but Snuffy comes to the rescue and blows the nest dry and he passes the test! Big Bird thanks everyone for being his friend and helping to rebuild his nest and his home.

Usher & Sesame Street: Volunteer

C’mon Mitt–you must be kidding. Eliminating Public Broadcasting not only doesn’t save us any money, it does us direct harm.Cutting off your nose to spite your face much?

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to a better society? (Yep, go up to the end of the block, and make a right turn onto Sesame Street)


Just a Drought Reminder

During the heatwaves and droughts being experienced by so many in the country…never hurts to be reminded…


Hungry Day, Sweepin’ the Clouds Away…

Photo: Sesame Workshop

I’m embarrassed that I missed the broadcast on Sunday, but I think this is a fascinating development in family television. Sesame Street introduced Lily, a seven-year-old muppet that doesn’t always know where she’ll get her next meal. Lily is “food insecure” as are too, too many kids today. I’ve worked in schools where the hot lunch in the cafeteria is likely the only solid meal a student will eat in a day…they come to school hungry, they go to bed hungry. The Sesame Street character, with her family, relies on the neighborhood food pantry and community gardens when they can’t make ends meet. For kids to see a storyline like hers and the sensitive and appropriate way the cast deals with it, can go miles toward understanding. It is not your fault if you are hungry, and you are not alone. Huge messages. Lily was introduced on a special evening broadcast called “Growing Hope Against Hunger” and is not currently slated to be a regular on “the Street.” I have a dear friend who is in the cast of Sesame Street, and it would be such a great storyline to see how his (human/non-muppet) character approached her situation. I hope Lily might come back around–I think she can add a lot to the neighborhood. Like Kami, an HIV-positive muppet character that was only on the South African Sesame Street broadcasts, the folks at the Sesame Workshop, having done this for over four decades, truly know how to broach difficult subjects from a young person’s point of view, and stimulate respectful, healthy conversations at home and in the classroom.

As for me, I’ll never forget when the cast had to explain to Big Bird how Mister Hooper had died and wasn’t coming back to Sesame Street. I was home from college…and riveted. The good work of these folks continues…Bravo!