Sesame Street Live
Produced by Minneapolis-based VEE Corporation, the show opened on September 17, 1980, with a production of Sesame Street Live "Missing Bird Mystery" playing at the Met Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. Sesame Street Live is now produced as three or four separate tours, each performing a different show, with its own plot, characters, scenery, and soundtrack. Shows are performed in arenas and theatres around the world, generally working on an eight to ten month touring schedule ending in the spring and resuming in the late summer. While in the United States, Sesame Street Live is a bus and truck show, with the equipment moving by two or three trucks and the personnel travelling by bus. (This is contrasted with a show that travels by rail, such as the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.) Outside of the United States, air cargo and sea containers are used.
The shows feature original music scores and songs, complemented with old favorites from the show, and professional dancers as costumed characters performing the parts of the Muppets. The productions are done in a theatrical style. In an arena, a stage is built and a false proscenium is created to make the experience more similar to going to a theatre.
Vincent E. Egan founded VEE Corporation in 1980. Meeting with executives of Children's Television Workshop and Muppets creator Jim Henson, he struck a long-term deal to be the exclusive creator of life-size replicas of the Sesame Street Muppets for touring stage shows.
The first Sesame Street Live opened at the Metropolitan Sports Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, September 1980. It played that Christmas for four weeks at Madison Square Garden, and has been a popular production ever since. It is the longest running stage tour for children.
The show has been staged in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Netherlands, Germany, Bahrain, Mexico, England, Scotland, Wales, Singapore, Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.
In order to keep the show running annually in the same cities, new plotlines are created and rotated through the tour. Because the target audience changes as children grow up, shows are often removed from the rotation for a few years, then return with some modifications.
In order of their creation, the Sesame Street Live shows have been:
- Missing Bird Mystery (1980)
- Big Bird's Super Spectacular Totally Amateur Show (1981–82)
- Sesame Jamboree (1982)
- Around the World (1983)
- Save Our Street (1985)
- Big Bird Goes to Hollywood (1986–87)
- Big Bird and the ABCs (1987)
- Big Bird's Sesame Street Story (1987–89)
- Silly Dancing (1989–91)
- Let's Play School (1990–92)
- Sleeping Birdie (1991)
- Where's the Birdie? (1991–1995)
- When I Grow Up (1993–2001)
- Big Bird and Friends (1993–94)
- Let's Be Friends (2000)
- Big Bird's Sunny Day Camp Out (2000)
- 1-2-3...Imagine! (2002)
- Everyone Makes Music (2003)
- Out of This World (2003–04)
- Elmo's Coloring Book (1997–2004)
- Super Grover! Ready for Action (2005)
- Elmo Makes Music (2006–07)
- When Elmo Grows Up (2007)
- Elmo's Green Thumb (2008)
- 1-2-3...Imagine! with Elmo and Friends (2009)
- Elmo's Healthy Heroes! (2010)
- Can't Stop Singing (2012)
- Make a New Friend! (2013)