Wednesday May 24th 2017

Meet Elmo Sesame Street Live-“1-2-3 Imagine”

How can it feel to be fresh out of college and as your first professional “gig” to play “Elmo”, that lovable character from Sesame Street? That was one of my first questions to Francine Espiritu who has been spreading the warmth and happiness all over the UnitedStates  in this new show that is certain to please all in attendance, not just the kids, but the kids at heart as well. I know that Sesame Street has been a part of almost every kids’ growing up and is going into what appears to be a third generation of fans- my kids and now their kids at least, but even though I am an adult, these characters bring out the kid in me as well. Francine is a bubbly young dancer who adores being onstage and bringing this icon to audiences. It is hard not to get a little teary-eyed when the show starts and the kids go wild as each of their favorites take the stage. It is probably close to the reaction one hears when a rock star comes out to begin a concert, but with higher pitched voices.

Francine is lucky! She not only found a “gig” right after graduation, but one that has taught ( and will continue to teach) teamwork as the whole cast and crew are like an extended family during these months of hitting the road. This tour which is on the way to Merrillville and then to Rosemont will end sometime in June with its final leg, three weeks in Hawaii. Once that is done, she will head back home to California and see what  her future will bring. For a young performer having her first show be on the road will give her the experience that many in the business find difficult- she loves it!

Since childhood, Francine has loved to dance. In her heart, she has always felt that this was what she was destined to do and keeps her focus on that. In fact, it is her suggestion that any youngster, looking to have a career in the theater, stay focused and keep honing their skills by taking classes, reading books and “surround yourself with people who care about you and will help you to attain the goals that you have set for yourself. “It is her desire to please every audience and perhaps inspire one of the youngsters to want to follow in her footsteps. Her parents have always advised her that you can achieve anything as long as you work hard. While it may not come as swiftly as it did for Francine, hard work and determination always pays off. There are actors/performers who cannot play the “dream roles” that they would want, due to being to short or tall, but there are always parts that  do not rely on size and many an actor has enjoyed great success being an ensemble member or a character actor. Francine Espiritu has a great start and I have the feeling that this is a name that we will see in Playbill ( the program for most of the large productions at the top theaters) for many years to come.

For those of you who have seen past productions, these are slick, Broadway type shows that appeals to the youngsters and oldsters and teaches children an appreciation for live theater at an early age by allowing them to see characters who are a part of their lives on stage, instead of on a TV screen. Tickets are affordable starting as low as $15 and can be purchased by calling  Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or online at

Remember, the production heads our way on May 4th -8th( Merriville) and then on to Rosemont. If you check in my archives, you will get the exact dates , times and prices for tickets.

for exact times visit or

to see more visit www.sesamestreetlive.comand become a fan on facebook

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