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Sesame Street Live visits the Big Sandy arena

Apr. 15, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Danny Mendoza may not have a resume that looks like the rest of us but he wouldn't play it any other way.

The 29-year-old dancer went from being a Unicorn in "My Little Pony Live," to playing the iconic Bert in the latest Sesame Street Live production of "Elmo Makes Music."

Mendoza, and the rest of the professionally trained cast bring television's most iconic kids show to life with the razzle dazzle of a Broadway show as they stop in Huntington for a mid-week visit.

Sesame Street Live Elmo Makes Music featuring Elmo, Big Bird and other show favorites will be performed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16 and 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. Tickets for all three performances are on sale now. Tickets are $15 and $20. A limited number of $30 Gold Circle seats and $52 Sunny Seats* are also available. A facility fee of $2 will be added to all ticket prices. Call the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Box Office at 304-696-5990 or Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

The show features a new music teacher Jenny, who arrives on Sesame Street only to discover that her instruments are missing. Her new friends come to the rescue making instruments out of everything from rubber duckies and trash can lids and even cookie jars.

Helping teach kids patience, acceptance and team work, the show is also just a lot of fun.

"We find the homemade instruments from spoons and trash can lids to cookies jars and literally anything that will make music and that's pretty awesome," Mendoza said. "By the time the show's over it's basically a mini 'Stomp.' I think the message is very clear that it's all about coming together and helping each other as friends and that fade that if a friend is in need you want to be there for them and to be positive and to have fun while you're doing it."

Mendoza is a Las Vegas native who has been dancing since age 15 and studied dance at the College of Southern Nevada as well as in New York City where he now lives. He said the characters pour a lot of heart and soul into their dances that are fueled with a stream of upbeat, dance-filled tunes such as "The Hustle," "You Should Be Dancing" and "Rockin' Robin."

Elmo Makes Music features nearly two dozen songs, including classics that children will love to sing along with such as "C Is for Cookie" and "The Alphabet Song."

"These shows are very rich with music and there's just a lot of cool songs like 'The Hustle,' and even Big Bird has a 'Rocking Robin' section," Mendoza said. "That is so fun for the parents and the kids. It is really funny."

Mendoza knows a thing or two about the shows. He has worked for VEE since 2006 and is under a 9-month contract that includes about 300 shows as part of Sesame Street Live.

"Part of the reason I have stayed on the job is that I do like traveling and that is not for everybody and we have roommates and you meet a lot of different kinds of people on tour and that can be challenging," Mendoza said. "But it's also very rewarding and we get to do a lot of fun things on stage and when we are off we get to meet a lot of new people and everywhere we go people love Sesame Street. It's such a good brand to work with."

If You Go:

WHAT: Sesame Street Live "Elmo Makes Music"

WHERE: Big Sandy Superstore Arena

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16 and 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17

HOW MUCH: Tickets are $15 and $20. A limited number of $30 Gold Circle seats and $52 Sunny Seats* are also available. A facility fee of $2 will be added to all ticket p rices.

GET TIX: Call the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Box Office at 304-696-5990 or Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

ON THE WEB: Go online at www.bigsandyarena.com

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