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Sesame Street Live features Hofstra grad as Grover

Samantha Amaral, a Hofstra grad, is playing Grover

Samantha Amaral, a Hofstra grad, is playing Grover in Sesame Street Live's "Let's Dance!" show at Madison Square Garden. Photo Credit: Sesame Street Live

Hofstra graduate Samantha Amaral is playing Grover in Sesame Street Live’s new show, “Let’s Dance!” coming to The Theater at Madison Square Garden Feb. 11 to 21.

Amaral, 28, dons the furry blue Muppet costume and uses a lever similar to a bicycle handlebar brake to open and close Grover’s mouth when he speaks. Even though her face is hidden inside the costume, Amaral says she’s constantly making the monster’s facial expressions and saying to herself, “Stop raising your eyebrow! No one can see you.”

Dancing in the costume is a challenge, she says. She has to wear Muppet feet, and to shake Grover’s head, she has to move her neck in an exaggerated way. Amaral, who graduated from Hofstra in 2010 and auditioned for Sesame Street productions at an open call that same year, played the Count and Rosita in a previous Sesame Street show.

Playing Grover in “Let’s Dance!” is a promotion of sorts, she says. “Grover is a slightly more well-known character to the older generations,” she says.

For tickets, visit theateratmsg.com.

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