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How Grover Got His 'Super' Back: A Review of "Elmo's Healthy Heroes"

October 27, 2010 - Betsy Bethel
I took two 4-year-olds, a girl and a boy, to see Elmo's Healthy Heroes at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling last night, and both loved it. They danced and clapped, shook Abby and Telly's hands, collected confetti. But most of the time, they stared at the stage, jaws hanging open, completely rapt with — and wrapped up in — the action.

And I'll agree it was mesmerizing. We're talking 5- to 6-foot tall furry monsters here, not to mention an 8-foot, 2-inch tall yellow bird!

The set itself was amazing, including a giant video screen backdrop plus an additional video screen that comes to life inside a giant "mirror" near the front of the stage. Exploding confetti is always good. And the music and choreography had the crowd — parents included — tapping their toes and nodding their heads to the beat.

The story centers on Super Grover, who has lost his "super." His energy is zapped, and he can no longer fly. At first, he blames his equipment — his helmet and his cape.

The action moves forward as the Fabulous Five — Elmo as Captain Fuzzy, Abby Cadabby as Glitter Girl, Telly as Triangle Boy and Zoe as Wonder Zoe with her sidekick pet rock, Rock Rock — are called upon via video by the Big Cheese to solve a problem on Sesame Street. Each character has a chance to come to the rescue.

In solving the "problems" — with a little help from their human friend, K, and eight other Sesame Street characters — the monsters learn about healthy living, from eating your "colors" (vegetables and fruits), to exercising, to having good hygiene, to getting enough sleep.

In the end, the Fabulous Five is able to pass on what they learned to a skeptical but willing Super Grover, who applies the principles and gets his "super" back!

The action is fast-paced, the songs are catchy, and the cast keeps the kids involved by continually coming off stage to interact with the crowd. Audience participation also is encouraged during certain dances and songs, in addition to performing the Fabulous Five cheer.

The show is perfect for 3- to 5-year-olds, but older and younger children will still enjoy it.

Words of wisdom

1. As with any live character show, most of the souvenirs are outrageously priced (the Elmo cutout mylar balloons are 10 bucks a pop) and some of them are of dubious quality. Get the cheaper light-up toys outside. Balloons are cheaper outside after the show, as well — $7 for the same Elmo ones they sell inside, and $5 for a round mylar Elmo balloon).

2. Bring a camera! Pictures are permitted, and characters will even strike a pose for you when they come off the stage to mingle.

3. Finally, be prepared for a long show. It was 2 hours, 15 minutes (including the 15-minute intermission). My 4-year-olds sat through the two-hour show without a problem, but younger kids, especially 2 and under, are likely to get restless, even with all of the dancing, lights and music to grab their attention. Babies might get overstimulated.

Show times today are 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. For information or tickets, call 304-233-4470.


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