JLCO To Perform ‘Sesame Street’ Musical Special This Month

Courtesy: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis

The Jazz a Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will pay tribute to Sesame Street this month.

Jazz at Lincoln Center PresentsA Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration is scheduled to broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 30 on PBS stations nationwide.  The hour-long presentation was recorded in front of a sold-out audience at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.

The band performed a variety of classic Sesame Street songs, such as ‘Rubber Duckie,’ ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon,’ and ‘People in your Neighborhood’ during the concert.  Famous Sesame Street residents, such as Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo, and the duo of Bert & Ernie joined the band to perform the concert’s extensive set list.

The forthcoming concert broadcast will air in collaboration with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street.

More information on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s upcoming concert is available along with all of the group’s news at:

 

Websitehttp://jazz.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jazzatlincolncenterorchestra

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jazzdotorg

 

More information on Sesame Street is available along with all of the series’ latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.sesamestreet.org

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SesameStreet

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesamestreet

 

 

More information on Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rena Strober’s New Compilation Is A Fitting Tribute To The Work Of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Sesame Street has, for more than half a century, educated and entertained audiences of all ages through its songs, skits and animated segments.  Over the course of its more than 50 years on the air, the series has garnered recognition from around the world and produced any number of VHS, DVD and CD releases.  Broadway actress Rena Strober – who has worked on TV shows, such as Sailor Moon, Liv and Maddie, and Penn Zero: Part Time Hero — will release her own tribute to the music of the beloved series with her new compilation album Imagine That!: The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss on Friday.  The 14-song compilation record is a welcome addition to any family’s music library.  That is due in part to its featured songs.  This will be explained shortly.  The songs’ arrangements add their own positive touch to the compilation.  They will be addressed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this record.  All things considered, they make this compilation that will appeal to Sesame Street fans of any age.

Rena Strober’s new compilation of Sesame Street songs is a presentation that Sesame Street fans of all ages will appreciate.  Its appeal is due in part to its featured songs.  As the compilation’s subtitle states, many of the songs featured here aired during Sesame Street’s earliest years on television.  Written and composed by the team of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss, the songs featured here were largely featured in the long-running series’ debut season, which aired in 1971.  While the compilation reaches all the way back to the series’ first season, it also reaches all the way up to its 22nd season, which aired in 1989.  Among the most notable of the featured songs are the timeliness tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon,’ ‘Being Green’ and ‘Imagination.’  Also known by the title ‘It’s Not Easy (Being Green),’ that song in question is arguably the most timeless of the series’ songs.  Sung originally by Kermit The Frog, it addresses the feelings that a person has in recognizing he or she is not the same as others.  ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon,’ sung by Ernie, is a touching lullaby that will put a smile on any listener’s face.  It celebrates the fascination with exploring new places and the appreciation of being at home.  Other songs, such as ‘High, Middle, Low,’ ‘Imagination,’ and ‘Sing’ all over their own entertainment.  Given, the compilation largely focuses on Sesame Street’s earliest years, but even with that in mind, it still does its own positive job of profiling the state of the series’ music at that point.  To that end, it is still a positive in its own right to this compilation.  The arrangements of the compilation’s timeless tunes add even more enjoyment to its presentation.

Strober’s take of ‘Being Green’ is a prime example the importance of the songs’ arrangements.  Strober stays true to the song’s source material here, but at the same time she also gives the song its own unique touch.  Her vocal delivery style here brings out her Broadway training while flautist Shane Kirsch adds another layer to the song.  The addition of the strings to the song’s arrangement enriches the composition even more.  The subtlety in each musician’s performance takes the original song and makes it an even more deeply emotional work that listeners will love just as much as the original if not more.  It is just one way in which the compilation’s arrangements prove so important to its presentation.  ‘Believe in Yourself’ is another example of what makes the arrangements stand out.

‘Believe in Yourself’ has been performed multiple times throughout the history of Sesame Street.  It was first sung by the series’ character Molly (played by Charlotte Rae).  Since then, it went on to become a favorite of the show, performed by the likes of Diana Ross, Ray Charles and even Justin Timberlake throughout the years.  Each rendition was unique in its own way, needless to say.  Strober’s rendition presents its own unique presentation, too.  That theatrical approach for which she is known for using is just as evident here as anywhere else in the album.  At the same time, it is so easy to imagine her singing this song on the show today.  The addition of the backing vocals from DOTZ singers Gavin Stevens and Coco Jernigan, and the banjo and violin lines adds even more enjoyment to the arrangement.  It gives the song a whole new life and identity that makes the album overall that much more enjoyment for listeners.  It is just one more way in which the arrangements prove pivotal to the record.  ‘I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon’ is one more example of the importance of the arrangements featured in this recording.

Strober’s take on the timeless tune that is ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon’ is even more moving than the original.  Pat Coil’s performance on the song’s keyboard intro sets the tone right from its outset.  That, together with Strober’s simple, minimalist vocal delivery adds even more depth.  Giovanna Clayton’s performance on the cello is so gentle in its own right, too.  When that gentle, subtle addition is joined with the keyboards and Strober’s vocal delivery the whole of the song becomes this compilation’s brightest point.  It stays true to its source material and builds so much on that material at the same time.  It is certain to become even more a favorite among audiences in this presentation.  When it is considered along with the other arrangements noted here and the rest of the compilation’s arrangements, the end result is a record whose arrangements make it just as much as for the songs themselves and the history that they represent.  It is just one more way in which the compilation proves worth hearing.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Rena Strober’s new compilation starts off lightly with the bouncy, mid-tempo take of ‘Somebody Come And Play.’  From there, the record pulls back in ‘Sing,’ but then immediately picks right back up in ‘Imagine That.’  The rises and falls continue on from there in the next trio of songs, too – ‘Being Green,’ ‘I’m Pretty/I’m An Aardvark,’ ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon.’  The rises and falls continue moderately from there on right to the compilation’s finale.’  The effect is that the album’s overall energy is balanced smoothly from one to the next.  Those transitions and balanced energy are primarily aesthetic elements, but they work so well here.  When it is considered along with the record’s overall content, the compilation in whole proves a fitting tribute to the work of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss, while also proving to be a collection of songs that Sesame Street fans of all ages will appreciate.

Rena Strober’s new family music album Imagine That!: The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is an enjoyable new offering from the veteran actress.  It is a work that shows even more the breadth of Strober’s own talents while also serving as a strong tribute to two of the greatest musical figures from the history of Sesame Street.  At the same time, it is just as much a wonderful celebration of the musical history of the series.  This is all due in pat to the record’s featured songs.  The songs’ arrangements add their own unique touch to the record.  The same can be said of the compilation’s sequencing.  Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make it a work that the most devoted Sesame Street fans will appreciate.  Imagine That!: The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is scheduled for release Friday through Knighthawk Digital Entertainment Group.

More information on Rena Strober’s new record is available along with all of her latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://renastrober.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/renastroberfanpage

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/renastrober

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rena Strober Announces Release Date, Specs For Debut Family Music Album

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Famed actress Rena Strober will release her debut family music album next month.

Strober — who has worked on TV shows, such as Sailor MoonLiv and Maddie, and Penn ZeroPart Time Hero and worked on a variety of Broadway stage shows — will release her new musical offering, titled Imagine That!The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss Aug. 28.

The 14-song record features guest performances from other famed figures, such as Jason Alexander (Seinfeldthe Hunchback of Notre DamePretty Woman), French Stewart (3rd Rock From The SunMomStargate), and Michael-Leon Wooley (The Princess and the FrogDreamgirlsPremium Rush) along with a variety of other well-known stars.

The compilation features some of the most beloved songs from Sesame Street‘s now 50-years-plus on television, including but not limited to the timeless tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live On The Moon,’ ‘Being Green’ and ‘Believe In Yourself.’

Raposo’s son Nick praised Strober for her work on her new record in a prepared statement, saying, “My family and I were thrilled to work with Rena Strober to bring this wonderful album to life. My father dedicated his life to respecting and nurturing all children, of every ability and heritage, everywhere.”

The release of Imagine That!The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss is directly aligned with National Guide Dog Month, which is celebrated in September.  In celebration of the month, a portion of proceeds from the record’s sale will go to benefit Guide Dogs of America and the Gavin R. Stevens Foundation.  The agencies work to find a treatment and cure for blindness, with focus on Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA).

The album will be available with a braille cover for audiences who are hard of sight and blind.  It can be ordered digitally and physically here.  Audiences can view a behind-the-scenes video featuring Strober talking about the album’s inspiration and creation.

More information on Rena Strober’s new record is available along with all of her latest news at:

 

Website: http://renastrober.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/renastroberfanpage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/renastrober

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Arthur’ Leads 2019’s Top New Family DVDs/BDs With Its New Celebration Of Diversity

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Entertaining children and keeping them  entertained is not an easy task.  Every parent out there can attest to this statement, including this critic.  Thankfully, new DVDs and Blu-rays are released annually that go a long way toward keeping children entertained while also bringing families together.  This year saw its own share of strong new DVDs and Blu-rays for families, too.  That was thanks to PBS Distribution, Shout! Factory  and even — believe it or not — Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.  From Sesame Street to Wild Kratts to even Scooby Doo and more, this year’s family-friendly DVD and BD releases offered hours of entertainment.

As with every list presented so far, this year’s list features the Top 10 titles of the year, plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 new releases.  Without further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Family DVDs and BDs.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVDs/BDs

  1. ArthurArthur Celebrates Community
  2. Ready Jet Go!One Small Step
  3. Ready Jet Go!Space Rocks
  4. Nature CatNature Cat & Mr. Hide
  5. The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales
  6. Mister Rogers’ NeighborhoodMister Rogers & Making Mistakes
  7. Ready Jet Go!Chasing The Sun
  8. Sesame StreetAwesome Alphabet Collection
  9. Sesame StreetCelebrate Family
  10. Scooby Doo & The Curse of the 13th Ghost
  11. Wild KrattsCreepy Creatures
  12. Wild KrattsBriny Blue Sea
  13. Splash & BubblesPole To Pole
  14. Dinosaur TrainDinosaurs Big & Small
  15. Oddsockeaters

 

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‘Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration’ Is Fun But Falls Short Of Expectations

Courtesy: Sesame Workshop/Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

One week ago today, the beloved children’s television series Sesame Street marked a very important moment in its history.  The educational series celebrated 50 years on television.  That is a long time for any series to be on television.  Few series have lasted such a long time.  The only series that has lasted longer is Jeopardy.  For those wondering, The Price is Right did not premiere until Sept. 4, 1972.  In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the show’s heads created a special episode to mark the occasion.  It has already run on HBO, and will air tonight on PBS Kids stations nationwide.  Following its airings, it will be available on DVD on Dec. 3 through an ongoing partnership between Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop.  The celebration is enjoyable in its own right and worth an occasional watch.  That is due to the collective whole of its overall content.  While the program’s overall content ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment, the way in which said content was presented sadly detracts from that enjoyment and engagement.  Luckily, the negative impact of the program’s editing and ordering is not enough to make it unwatchable.  The program’s bonus content couples with its primary content to add to its appeal.  When that collective content is considered alongside the issues raised by the program’s editing and ordering, the presentation in whole proves to be maybe not a perfect celebration of Sesame Street, but one that is worth at least an occasional watch.

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop’s new 50th Anniversary celebration of Sesame Street is an interesting program that is worth at least an occasional watch.  That is due in part to its overall content.  The main presentation finds Elmo and his friends looking for Sesame Street’s street sign because it has gone missing on the very day that the neighborhood’s gang is to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary.  As the group searches for the sign, they also have to keep host Joseph Gordon-Levitt from knowing the sign has gone missing.  Along the way, some random segments featuring some of the shows’ most well-known and beloved musical numbers are performed by the likes of Meghan Trainor, Norah Jones, Elvis Costello and Nile Rogers.  Of course it is obvious that some of the performances in question are lip synched; specifically speaking those of Trainor and Rogers.  They come across more like music videos than actual performances, which sadly do detract somewhat from the program’s enjoyment, but not so much so that the program is unwatchable.  Elmo and company’s search eventually reaches a happy ending with a surprise.  The whole thing lasts roughly one hour.

Following the finale of the program’s main presentation, audiences are treated to a series of guest appearances from other celebrities as they introduce their favorite moments from Sesame Street’s history.  In all, there are four segments.  Each segment is accompanied by the full-length segments which each guest star discusses with members of the Sesame Street gang.  These segments, honestly, offer more in the way of engagement and entertainment than the main program in this presentation.  This is where the program takes a bit of a turn.

The overall primary content featured in the Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration offers a certain amount of entertainment for audiences.  However, the editing and arrangement of said content detracts considerably from the presentation.  It would have made more sense (at least in this critic’s own view) for the extra guest appearances and segments to have been made part of the overall celebration than their own standalone presentation.  Instead of just having random musical numbers as part of the main presentation to break up the search for the sign segments, it would have made more sense to have Elmo and company go around Sesame Street, meeting those guests, who were hanging out with the other members of the Sesame Street “gang,” during the search for the sign, have the noted guests talk about their favorite memories and transition to those segments and then go back to the search for the sign than to have the whole assembled how it was put together.  By just incorporating the random celebrities the way in which they were used in the main presentation, the main program just feels disjointed, and the celebs just seem like little more than window dressing.  All in all, the editing drastically detracts from the general effect of the program’s presentation.  While it does not make the program unwatchable, it does detract from the presentation enough, that it makes one wonder how much thought and time was put into planning and scripting this celebration.  The effect is that while it does pay tribute to Sesame Street, its history and impact, the main presentation here is worth maybe an occasional watch, but is not the truly memorable tribute that it could have been.

While the editing and scripting of Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration clearly hurts the celebration’s presentation, it does not make it completely unwatchable.  The program’s bonus content, which is brief in itself, does a little more to add to the program’s appeal.  There is a brief “Elmo’s World” segment in which Elmo talks about the different kinds of celebrations with his smart phone friend “Smartie” and an even more brief look back at Sesame Street’s half-century history.  It is essentially just a video compilation of the series’ opening segments that eventually end up making a video mosaic of the show.  Again, this is where the scripting and editing come back into play.  That video mosaic of sorts could and should have been used to open the program instead of having Cookie Monster taking a cab ride to Sesame Street as he tries to find out where Sesame Street is.  How would Cookie Monster not know how to get to Sesame Street?  That is just not believable.  Getting back on topic, the bonus content overall adds a little bit of entertainment for audiences.  When it is considered along with the program’s primary content, the end result is an overall presentation that is worth an occasional watch, but certainly is sadly not the celebration that it surely could and should have been for such an iconic series.

Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration is an intriguing offering for audiences.  Considering the rich history of Sesame Street and the impact that it has had for half a century, the “celebration” is worth an occasional watch, but sadly falls short of being the tribute that it could and should have been.  The content that makes up the body of the program’s main presentation will entertain and engage audiences, but the editing and scripting of that main presentation greatly detracts from the program’s impact.  The bonus content that comes with the program’s DVD presentation works with the program’s content in its main presentation to make the whole enjoyable, but sadly not memorable.  Sesame Street: 50th Anniversary Celebration will be available on DVD Dec. 3.  More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

’50 Years And Counting’ Is An Enjoyable Celebration Of One Of TV’s Greatest, Most Important Series

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Sesame Workshop

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop are celebrating Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary with a new collection of content from the long-running series.  Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting is scheduled for release Oct. 1 on DVD.  The two-disc set is a presentation that will entertain audiences of all ages as they celebrate the landmark show reaching its half-century mark.  That is due in part to the content that makes up the body of the collection.  It will be discussed shortly.  The actual presentation of said content plays into the set in its own right and will be discussed a little later.  The set’s average price point is important to note, too considering the set’s content.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting.  All things considered, they make the collection an enjoyable new celebration of one of television’s greatest and most important series.

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop’s forthcoming Sesame Street presentation 50 Years and Counting is a celebration of the long-running series that audiences of all ages will enjoy.  That is due in part to the content that makes up the body of the two-disc set.  Audiences get in this collection half a century of fan favorite skits and live action story lines that were interwoven into the series’ episodes.  The content pulls from many of the series’ eras, giving audiences of all ages something to appreciate, in turn ensuring viewers’ engagement and entertainment from beginning to end of each disc.  From the timeless animated pinball segment that teaches children to count to 12, to the silly classic spoof of Indiana Jones (which features a guest appearance by a then young Jeff Goldblum), to the spoof of Singin’ In The Rain to the rockabilly lesson about cooperation to the introduction of Sesame Street’s first-ever autistic Muppet, this collection offers audiences more than enough to appreciate.  The segments run the gamut from teaching important life lessons, such as the importance of teamwork and embracing everyone’s differences to simply entertaining audiences, such as in the Indiana Jones spoof and the Downton Abbey spoof along the way.  In other words, the content presented throughout the set is just as diverse in itself as the eras from which it was pulled.  This is, in itself, more than enough reason for audiences to add the set to their home libraries.  It is just one part of what makes the collection noteworthy.  The fact that the collection’s content is distinctly separated into two discs is just as important to discuss as the set’s content.

The content that fills each of the set’s discs is distinct within itself because of its focus.  Disc one is an extensive look back through the show’s annals in terms of the general segments.  Disc two focuses more distinctly on the series’ live action segments.  What’s more, it takes viewers – while not in precise chronological order – through the history of Sesame Street, starting way back in the series’ infancy and all the way to its most recent era.  The early segments featured in the second disc are moments, such as Luis and Maria’s wedding, Mr. Hooper’s passing and Snuffy’s introduction to Sesame Street’s residents.  As the disc’s content progresses, audiences are eventually treated to the noted appearance of Goldblum as Bob’s brother, and the eventual introductions of Abby Cadabby and Julia.  The change is subtle in the cast and backdrop, but a close watch shows that a certain amount of time and thought was put into the sequencing of this disc’s content.  The set’s first disc, by comparison, presents a more random selection of content, such as the beloved waiter segments with Grover, the aforementioned animated pinball short, Kermit performing with a Muppet version of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and even a classic bit featuring the one and only Mumford the Magacian, just to note a handful of the set’s segments.  Each disc features a lot of content, meaning trying to binge on it all is difficult.  Audiences are encouraged to take everything in at their own pace as they make their way through each disc.  Doing so will add to enjoyment, again, for audiences young and old alike. It will also help increase appreciation for the work done by those behind the scenes to assemble everything presented.  That appreciation will leave viewers agreeing that the separation of the set’s content is just as important as its content.  While the content featured in this collection and the fashion in which it is presented is important to the set’s presentation they are not the set’s only important elements.  They make the set’s average price point important in its own right.

The average price point of Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting is $13.46.  That price is reached by obtaining price listings at Shout! Factory’ store, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  At the time of this review’s posting, the collection was not posted at Best Buy’s website.  The least expensive of the noted listings is at Barnes & Noble Booksellers — $12.07 – while the set’s most expensive listing is at Books-A-Million — $16.97.  Shout! Factory’s listing is $13.97, just above the average, while Target and Amazon’s listing of $12.39 is relatively inexpensive, too.  Walmart lists the set at $12.96, again, below that average, and a relatively affordable price in its own right.  Regardless of whether audiences purchase the set through Walmart, Shout! Factory, Target, Amazon or Barnes & Noble Booksellers, the fact of the matter is that an average price listing of less than $20 for this expansive collection, and separate listings of below $20, too is affordable, period.  It is money that audiences will agree is well-spent.  It is especially well-spent because it is a collection that will bring the whole family together time and again, regardless of which retailer one chooses.  When this is considered along with the content featured in this set and its presentation, the whole of the set proves to be a wonderful presentation that stands out as one of this year’s top new family DVD and BD box sets.

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop’s new Sesame Street collection 50 Years and Counting is an outstanding new presentation from the companies.  That is due in part to the content that makes up the body of the collection.  It reaches back into the show’s early days, its middle age and its most recent era, giving audiences of all ages more than enough to enjoy.  The way in which the content is presented in this set adds to the enjoyment of the collection because it allows viewers to choose for themselves whether they want to watch the live action segments or the Muppet and animated segments.  The wide breadth of content featured in the set makes its average price point (and separate listings) of less than $20 money well spent, considering that it is content that will educate, inform and entertain audiences for another 50 years.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting.  All things considered, they make this two-disc set one of the best of the year’s best new family DVD and BD box sets.  It will be available Oct. 1.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.omshoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Panton’s New LP Is “A Cheerful Little Earful” For Listeners Of All Ages

Courtesy: Little Things

Diana Panton will release her latest album next month.  The album – A Cheerful Little Earful – is scheduled for release Oct. 18 through Little Things Records.  The 15-song, 53-minute album is Panton’s second family music album — coming four years after her debut family album 2015’s I Believe in Little Things — and her 12th overall album.  This latest offering from Panton is fittingly titled.  That is because it will leave listeners of all ages feeling cheerful after they get an earful of the record.  The album’s featured songs plays directly into that effect.  They will be addressed shortly.  The musical aspect of the album also plays into that positive impact, and will be addressed a little later.  The same can be said of the album’s sequencing by connection.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make A Cheerful Little Earful a work that will leave every listener feeling cheerful.

Diana Panton’s latest full-length studio recording is a presentation that fits its title quite well.  That is because it does in fact prove itself A Cheerful Little Earful of music.  The record’s featured songs play their own part in that impact.  The record opens with Panton’s own take on the classic Rogers & Hammerstein song ‘Happy Talk,’ which is featured in the duo’s beloved musical ‘South Pacific.’  It is followed up by the song ‘It’s A Most Unusual Day,’ which was written and arranged by Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHughes, and made famous by Jane Powell in the 1948 MGM movie A Date With Judy.  Harry Woods’ 1926 hit song ‘Red, Red Robin’ – made famous by actress Lilian Roth – is also featured in the album, along with works from Perry Como (‘A, You’re Adorable’), Jimmy Van Huesen and Sammy Cahn (‘Pocket Full Of Miracles’ – taken from the 1961 movie of the same name), Sammy Fain, Bob Hilliard and Fr. Louis Sauvat (‘All In The Golden Afternoon’ – From Walt Disney’s 1951 classic animated movie Alice in Wonderland) just to name some more songs.  As if that isn’t enough, Panton once again offers at least one work for children in the form of the timeless Sesame Street tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon.’  Of course likely just as many grown-ups know that song as do children, so to that end, that song will appeal to lots of adults as well as children.  Along with all of this, there is a Cole Porter work featured in the album in the form of ‘Experiment’ and even a cover of the Michael Jackson hit ‘Music and Me.’  That song was written by Michael Cannon, Don Fenceton, Mel Larson and Jerry Marcellino.  Simply put, Panton once again runs the proverbial gamut with this album’s featured songs.  That is just as evident in the other songs not noted here.  What is truly interesting here is that while the variety of songs is plentiful, they defy the standard definition of “Family Music.”  Most of the music here is jazz, and jazz is music for everyone, like with bluegrass (E.g. The Okee Dokee Brothers).  So it is a family music album, but also an album of music for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.  To that end, the songs featured in this album gives it a strong foundation.

That foundation is strengthened even more thanks to the songs’ arrangements.  The arrangements will appeal just as much to Panton’s longtime fans as they will to those who might be less familiar with her work.  From the light, easygoing piano-driven arrangement at the center of the album’s opener, ‘Happy Talk,’ to the more gentle, reserved arrangement at the center of ‘I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon’ (which is also centered around Don Thompson’s gentle, flowing piano line), to the equally reserved, guitar-centered arrangement of ‘If You Feel Like Singing, Sing’ to the more light hearted (and also guitar-centered) ‘Aren’t You Glad You’re You’ – which was used in the soundtrack to the 1945 Bing Crosby classic The Bells of St. Mary’s – and beyond, the arrangements featured throughout the album are really what make the featured works so easy on the ears.  Thompson’s work on the vibes from  point to point conjures thoughts of the one and only Lionel Hampton while Panton’s own vocal delivery once again is comparable to that of Diana Krall.  The arrangements are easy on the ears not just because of the instrumentation, but also because of their simplicity.  There are no over-the-top performances and solos at any point.  Rather, each song is simple and straight forward from beginning to end.  That adds even more appeal to each composition.  All things considered here, the arrangements presented in each song do just as much to make this record appealing as the songs themselves.  They still are not the last of the album’s most important element.  When the arrangements and songs are considered along with the record’s sequencing, all three elements work together to make the record that much more enjoyable and entertaining.

The sequencing of Cheerful Little Earful is important to note because it ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment by keeping the record’s energy stable throughout its run.  As already notes, the album opens on a high, light hearted note in ‘Happy Talk.’  From there, the album’s energy gradually changes with the tempos gradually slowing until it reaches that famed Sesame Street classic tune.  Things pick back up a little after that in the album’s title track before pulling back again in ‘If You Feel Like Singing, Sing’ and ‘Music and Me.’  The change in the energies are subtle though the next few songs before picking up again more noticeably in ‘Aren’t You Glad You’re You.’  The album ends with two more gentle arrangements that take listeners out on a soft note.  Again, the album’s sequencing keeps the album’s energy just right from beginning to end, not changing too much from one song to the next.  That stability in the songs’ energies means listeners are more apt to remain engaged throughout as the variety in the arrangements and the songs.  When all of those elements are noted together, the end result is a record that truly is a cheerful little earful for listeners of all ages.

Diana Panton’s forthcoming album Cheerful Little Earful is a fittingly titled-album, especially for jazz and cinema fans.  That is because so many of the songs featured in this album are classic jazz tunes that are featured in some great classic major motion pictures.  They are not the album’s only songs, though.  As noted, there is at least one song taken from PBS’ long-running series Sesame Street and even a Michael Jackson cover.  That variety of songs and associated backgrounds means a wide ranging appeal in itself.  The songs’ arrangements add even more appeal to the record.  The album’s sequencing ensures the energies in those arrangements remains stable from the album’s opening to its end.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Cheerful Little Earful an earful that will leave every listener cheerful.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Diana Panton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dianapanton.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DianaPantonFanpage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pantonda5

 

 

 

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‘Sesame Street: Dance Party’ Will Have Audiences Dancing For Joy

Courtesy: Sesame Workshop/Shout! factory/Shout! Kids

The countdown is officially on to one of the most important anniversaries in the modern history of television.  On November 10, Sesame Workshop will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Sesame Street (take that Simpsons).  As the beloved, long-running series’ anniversary nears, Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop are continuing their celebration of the series and its historic run with yet another new DVD.  Sesame Street: Dance Party was released Tuesday.  The DVD is a presentation that Sesame Street’s fans both young and old alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to the DVD’s primary content, which features lots and lots of dancing mixed in with some important educational content to boot.  This will be addressed shortly.  The DVD’s bonus content is just as certain as its primary content to keep audiences entertained, and will be addressed a little later.  The primary and secondary content taken into consideration together, they make the DVD’s average price point just as appealing to audiences as that content.  All things considered, this DVD in whole will have audiences of all ages dancing together for lots of reasons.

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop’s latest Sesame Street DVD, Dance Party is a presentation that will have viewers of all ages doing their own happy dances.  That is due in part to the DVD’s primary content.  Clocking in just under 90 minutes, the DVD’s primary content creates a starting point on discussions about the varied forms of dance that exist throughout America and the world through each of its separate segments.  The whole thing starts with an entertaining segment that finds the Sesame Street “gang” doing their own ballet performance.  The catch is that Big Bird’s best friend Snuffalupagus joins in, leading Allan to have to figure out how to lift everyone’s favorite furry, friendly mammoth.  This leads to an important secondary aspect of the DVD’s primary content that will be addressed shortly.  Getting back on track, everything ends up working out in the end, but not without plenty of laughs for the whole family.  It’s just one of the segments that makes up the DVD’s primary content.  Bert and Ernie make their own music video in another segment.  This segment teaches its own important lesson that will also be addressed shortly.  The varied dance styles (and the fact that it uses an episode from the height of the “Angry Birds” craze adds even more to its appeal.  It’s one more way in which the segments serve to create such appeal.  They don’t just come from one specific era of Sesame Street’s history.  Most of the segments are from  the series’ more recent years, given, but it is still nice to see the segments come from more than just one period of the show.  Bert and Ernie’s music video is not the only one that gets some screen time in this new DVD.  Prairie Dawn and her friends make their own music video that will appeal to country music fans as it presents its own take on “The Farmer in the Dell.”  That segment alone creates plenty of smiles among audiences, too.  The same can be said of the brief segment featuring Jason Derullo, who puts on a short hip-hop dance exhibition.  Between that moment, the others noted here and more, the whole of the DVD’s primary content will keep viewers just as entertained as they are engaged from beginning to end, learning about the various types of dances that exist.  Those introductions serve as their own starting point for larger discussions on the cultures from which the dance styles were spawned.  That also serves as its own important part of the DVD’s primary content.

As noted, the fact that the brief introductions to the various dance styles that exist serve collectively as a good starting point for discussions about the cultures that spawned the dance styles.  They are just some of the extra discussions that will take place among audiences as a result of the DVD’s primary content.  The DVD’s opening segment finds Allan and other members of the Sesame Street gang working to figure out how to lift Snuffy as part of their ballet dance number.  This plot element is a subtle lesson about problem-solving skills.  How the group finally figures out how to lift Snuffy will be left for audiences to discover for themselves, but is still quite intriguing.  Of course, Allan’s attempts to lift Snuffy prior to that realization end with plenty of laughs.  It is just one of the lessons presented within the primary content of Dance Party.  As Ernie is making a video to put online, he has to learn to adapt and change the plan because things don’t always go as planned.  This is a vital life skill for not just children, but adults, too.  Just as many adults seem to forget this key life skill just as much as children.  To that end, it is a reminder that again, viewers of all ages will appreciate.  On another level, the lesson about just how much work goes into making a music video in the segment featuring Prairie Dawn and company shows audiences of all ages just how much time and work goes into making videos.  It isn’t the invaluable life lesson featured in the other noted segments, but is still interesting in its own right.  When it is considered along with the other lessons, the whole of the group does more than enough to show even more, the importance of the primary content to the whole of Dance Party.  While the breadth and depth of the primary content featured in this DVD forms a solid foundation for its presentation, it is only one of the DVD’s most important elements.  The disc’s secondary content plays its own important role in the whole of the DVD.

The secondary content featured in Dance Party is a full-length episode of Sesame Street.  The episode in question comes from the mid 2000s.  The whole thing opens with a musical story that finds Elmo causing everyone on Sesame Street to sing everything.  How and why this happens will be left for viewers to discover for themselves.  It’s hardly the first time that any program has gone this route.  It is a plot element that has been used through the years on so many programs, most recently on Nickelodeon’s Henry Danger. Even with that familiarity, there is something endearing about the segment, which takes up somewhere in the range of 15 minutes of the nearly hour-long program.  As the episode progresses, viewers are treated to a rather interesting episode of “Flying Fairy School” and even what looks like a vintage “live action” segment that finds a quartett of performers doing an a capella performance about the letter “M.”  The whole thing wraps up with a full segment of the now beloved “Elmo’s World.”  Each segment offers its own entertainment value.  All things considered here, they will keep viewers just as engaged and entertained as will the DVD’s primary content.  To that end, the bonus content that is featured with Dance Party proves just as enjoyable as the DVD’s main feature.  When the DVD’s main and secondary content are considered together, they make the DVD in whole well worth the money spent.

The money spent on Dance Party averages to approximately $12.33.  That price is reached by averaging prices listed at Shout! Factory’s store, those of Walmart, Target, Amazon, Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  The DVD was not listed at Best Buy’s website at the time of this review’s posting.  While Shout! Factory’s listing of $13.98 was not the most inexpensive listing, it also was not the most expensive.  That title goes to the listing at Books-A-Million, at $14.98.  Shout! Factory’s listing is the second most expensive at $13.98 while the most common listing – at Walmart, Target and Amazon – is $10.99.  It is also the most inexpensive listing.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ listing of $12.04 is the mid-point listing.  Regardless of which retailer customers choose, Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop will benefit from a portion of the sales.  Keeping all of this in mind, customers who buy the DVD will get hours of entertainment, education and engagement, and in the process, will also benefit the continued broadcasting of one of the most important programs to ever hit the airwaves.

Sesame Street: Dance Party is a DVD that is certain to have audiences of all ages celebrating.  That celebration will come in the form of their own dances as well as dances with the segments featured throughout the DVD.  That is due in part to the DVD’s primary content, which features dances from a wide array of cultural backgrounds.  The bonus full-length episode of Sesame Street adds its own share of enjoyment to the DVD’s presentation for every viewer.  Considering the content that makes up the body of the disc, it makes the DVD’s average price point of less than $20 a wise investment for any family.  That is because families will find themselves enjoying the noted content together time and again.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD in whole will have audiences of all ages dancing for joy as they dance along with the DVD’s content.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://sesameworkshop.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory, Sesame Workshop To Release New ‘Sesame Street’ DVD Next Month

Courtesy: Sesame Workshop/Shout! factory/Shout! Kids

Sesame Workshop and Shout! factory are teaming up to bring families another new Sesame Street DVD next month.

Sesame StreetDance Party is scheduled for release Aug. 8 on DVD.  The new DVD features a handful of segments that teach young viewers the joy of dancing.  In one segment, the Feelingwells hold a family dance party in one episode.  Another segment features Nina teaches the Sesame Street gang dances from all around the world.  Yet another segment — “Snuffy’s Dance” — finds Zoe choreographing a ballet.

The dances are just part of the appeal of Sesame StreetDance Party.  The segments featured in the new DVD feature guest appearances from celebrities, such as Liev Schreiber, Nicole Kidman and Wendy Williams to add to the enjoyment for viewers.

Viewers can pre-order Sesame StreetDance Party now via Shout! Factory’s store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory, Sesame Workshop To Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of ‘Sesame Street’ With New Collection

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Sesame Workshop

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop are celebrating Sesame Street‘s 50th anniversary with a new collection of episodes.

Sesame Street50 Years and Counting is scheduled for release Oct. 1 on DVD.  The two-disc set features some of the series’ most beloved and memorable moments from its half-century of programming in its first disc.  Segments, such as “Ladybug Picnic,” “Pinball Number Count” and Kermit The Frog’s beloved performance of ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ are among those moments.

The set’s second disc features a variety of the series’ most beloved “live action” segments.  Among those multiple moments are the heartbreaking “Goodbye to Mr. Hooper,” the debut of Julia, the first member of the Sesame Street gang with autism and the introduction of the one and only Snuffleupagus.

As if all of that is not, viewers of all ages get to enjoy Super Grover’s many crash landings, Bert and Ernie’s best moments and more than five-and-a-half hours of other content from the series’ half-century run.

The collection’s release in stores will feature the inclusion of a 2X3 picture that features the series’ most notable figures.  The collection can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SesameWorkshop

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

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