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Joint Base Andrews Features

NEWS | Oct. 21, 2008

Elmo and friends delight audiences of all ages

By Pacifica Chehy 316th Wing Public Affairs

Elmo and his friends, Zoe, Rosita, Cookie Monster and Grover, rocked the house, otherwise known as the base theater, last week and treated Team Andrews audience members to three memorable performances designed just for military families.

Both the young -- and the young-at-heart -- danced and wiggled in the aisles, sang along with Elmo and enjoyed the live Muppet show sponsored by Sesame Workshop and the USO. "The Sesame Street Experience for Military Families Tour" is one part of Sesame Workshop's larger "Talk, Listen, Connect" series, which covers deployments and changes within the family when the active-duty member returns home "changed" after a combat-related injury. The Sesame Workshop-USO initiative also offers support and resources for military families with young children in addition to the live shows and the "Talk, Listen, Connect" DVDs.

When the show opens, Elmo is sad about his father, Louie, deploying. Soon, Elmo's friends come to his rescue and describe different things they can do during his father's deployment, like dance and sing. Elmo and his friends then dance and sing Sesame Street favorites like, "Somebody Come and Play," and the "Sesame Street" theme song. Cookie Monster even sang his renown "C is for Cookie" as he struggled to get a cookie out from his cookie jar.

Col. Steven M. Shepro, 316th Wing commander introduced Elmo and his friends saying, "On behalf of everyone here at Andrews Air Force Base, we want to thank the Sesame Street Workshop, the USO, and all of our volunteers, and parents who supported today's performance. You know, Sesame Street's been around for a long time -- when I was your age, I used to watch Sesame Street, too, so it's great to have their legacy come here to the base."

Bonnie Kelberer, J.P. Hoyer Child Development Center's Training and Curriculum specialist said over 1,000 free tickets were given out to the Andrews community for each show. "It was really fun," said Ms. Kelberer. "The children enjoyed the show and everyone had a great time. The shows were really about showing our appreciation to the families and the spouses everything they do for our country."

Andrews was one of 43 military installations who hosted the Muppet performance. For more information on the "Talk, Listen, Connect" series, visit