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Telly (rear) is played by Angelo Williams.
Angelo Williams as Telly Monster, appearing in "Sesame Street Live: Elmo’s Super Heroes" at the Fisher Theatre.
Former Detroiter Angelo Williams is touring with the company of "Elmo's Super Heroes" as Telly Monster.
Former Detroiter Angelo Williams has a degree in biochemistry; maybe as many stamps in his passport as Hillary Clinton; and a fuzzy purple alter ego.
Williams, 28, who graduated from Detroit’s High School of Arts, plays Telly Monster, one of the eponymous superheroes of “Sesame Street Live – Elmo’s Super Heroes.”
An “Army brat” born in Nuremberg, Germany, Williams was already well travelled before hitting Motown, Main Street and, finally, touring with Sesame Street. After graduating from high school, Williams did a year at Wayne State University before heading south to dance at Disney World in shows such as the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Trolley Show and The Festival of the Lion King at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
He credits a lot of water and Gatorade with his survival. “It’s a lot of hard work, especially in the summer when it’s 98 degrees when you’re in a button-up shirt and vest,” Williams said.
While in Orlando, Fla., he had a visit from a friend and fellow dancer from the Freedom Dance Expressions Company, who was touring with "Dragon Tales Live." Like "Sesame Street Live," it was produced by the VEE Corp. He spent time with the "Dragon Tales" company while they were performing in Orlando, and was invited to audition.
He began his first tour with "Sesame Street Live" in 2005, as Big Bird in “Super Grover Ready for Action,” the original version of the recently updated “Elmo’s Super Heroes.”
Williams has toured with each of the three touring casts of "Sesame Street Live" for the last seven years, playing both Big Bird and Telly, who was Williams’ favorite as a kid.
“He’s very quirky and he’s very spastic, too. He can be very upbeat and then be down a little,” said Williams.
The three casts tour the East Coast, the West Coast and the theater circuit with different shows, and each has international stops. Williams said his most interesting stop was Singapore. The company spent New Year’s Eve in Mexico City, where the soundtrack for the show is in Spanish.
He says that Sesame Street is every bit as beloved around the world as it is here at home. Continued...
“The show offers so much for all ages,” said Williams, whose favorite song in the current show is a take on “One” from “A Chorus Line.” “It’s like we’re in a Broadway show.”
Between tours, Williams earned a dual degree in dance education and biochemistry from the University of Central Florida. His residence is in Newark, Del.
He likes to read, and do gymnastics and has participated on competition cheer teams. The last book he read was the final Harry Potter book, which he saved for after seeing the movie, because he didn’t want to be disappointed. This way, Williams’ reasons, “The book just totally fills in the blanks.”
Asked if he’s interested in the movie business, Williams laughed. "Not unless I hit the lottery.”
Williams has a 6-year-old nephew and a niece on the way. His nephew has seen “every show I’ve been in since he was born. I’m the cool uncle.”
The next move for the multitalented Williams “is to figure out a longterm goal.” He says he is “getting ready for family mode” now, and would like to either open a dance studio and teach or put his biochemistry degree to work in research, where he’s leaning toward pharmaceuticals.
But his most immediate plan is to hustle off to Buffalo for another opening and another show of "Sesame Street Live."
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