FROM BROADWAY WITH LOVE: A Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook

In January 2013, at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut, the cast of Sesame Street and over 100 Broadway performers raised money for United Way of Western Connecticut’s Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Read more

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Photo credit: Brad Fraggle and my good friends at Muppet Wiki

Sesame Street Cast Visits Sandy Hook


A year later, in May 2014, the cast was invited to entertain the Sandy Hook students at their school. Alan Muraoka, Alison O’Reilly, Pam Arciero, Leslie Carrara Rudolph and I gave 2 performances for the 3rd and 4th graders and 1 for the younger children. It was a joyous occasion, best expressed by a 1st grade student who said, “I have water in my eyes and I don’t know why.” The student thought a moment and with a big smile said, “I guess I am crying because I’m happy. I am just so happy.” The child’s teacher told us that it was probably the first time she had experienced that feeling in a long time. Please remember the lives lost and those still trying to heal at Sandy Hook.

The following day, the Sandy Hook School Music Specialist, Maryrose Kristopik (playing guitar), also wrote the cast the lovely thank you letter below.  


Maryrose Kristopik, Sandy Hook School Music Specialist

Dear Bob, Alan, Gina, Leslie, and Pam,

Yesterday was an amazing day for all of us at Sandy Hook thanks to
your love, kindness and talent! How can we possibly thank you for the
absolute joy you brought to us? The whole school is still on a high
today with memories they will carry with them forever. The fun,
happiness, smiles, and joy we all experienced during your performances
will forever be in our hearts and minds.

A few moments from my day:
Before school, I walked into the security office and the policemen were
watching “Your Face” on YouTube. I heard it was “Rubber Ducky”

As I was signing in at the office, everyone who came in had a smile on
their face and told me how much it meant to them to have you spend
time with us. Adults continued to share with me all day. Some of
their comments:
They were incredible.
We can’t believe how happy the kids were and us too.
This was the best day we’ve had all year.
This was the best program we’ve had all year.
This will last in our hearts for a long time.
We can’t thank them enough.
How can we possibly ever thank them?
I didn’t know it would have this effect on me and our children.
Now I know I can get through the rest of the year. This will help
carry me through.

One first grade teacher shared this with me. While she and her
students were at the performance a student said to her, “M—— I have
water in my eyes and I don’t know why.” The student thought a moment
and with a big smile said, “I guess I am crying because I’m happy. I
am just so happy.” It was probably the first time she experienced that
feeling. I think this says it for all of us! Thank you for making
us so happy!

Our children were ecstatic today. They commented about every aspect of
your performance. They said they loved the songs, jokes, dancing,
Muppets, taking pictures with you, when they touched or met the
Muppets or all of you on the risers. Many students told me what they
liked or what they experienced during the performance when they saw me
in the hall. They just stopped me and started joyfully telling me all
about it. Every class wanted to sing songs from yesterday.

Bob, we enjoyed your CDs. I played “Your Face” and “One Finger, One
Thumb” and then every grade level asked for more selections and sang
along with such enthusiasm. We will continue to sing the music you
all shared with us in the future because they wanted it ALL today
including, of course, “Sing” and the “Sesame Street song.”

Personally, I enjoyed having some time to share and visit with you. I
thank you for giving from your hearts to all of us. We truly love you
at Sandy Hook!

Thank you and love you,
Maryrose Kristopik, Sandy Hook School Music Specialist

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