- - Monday, September 24, 2012

Elmo will be carrying a different tune on “Sesame Street.”

A shift in how the popular puppet is deployed marks the most visible change on “Sesame Street,” the children’s program that begins its 43rd season this week on public television.

The “Elmo’s World” segment is being phased out after 13 years. It will be replaced by a segment called “Elmo the Musical.”

Rosemarie Truglio, who is senior vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop, said the idea is to incorporate the arts into the show’s emphasis on bringing concepts in science, technology, engineering and math to its preschool-age viewers.

‘Beaver’s‘ brother now an abstract artist

He is, and likely forever will be, best known as good old Wally Cleaver, the big brother who had to bail out a goofball sibling facing one dilemma after another on the classic TV series “Leave It to Beaver.”

For the past dozen years, though, Tony Dow has been carving out another career, as a sculptor with pieces that have shown at numerous venues, including what is arguably the world’s premier art museum — the Louvre in Paris.

More than 30 of Mr. Dow’s pieces in bronze, steel and wood are now on display closer to home at the Debilzan Gallery in Laguna Beach, Calif., and they could fetch several thousand dollars each from collectors. But despite his respected reputation as a sculptor, Mr. Dow acknowledged that there might have been as many people at Saturday’s opening reception wanting to rub shoulders with the Beav’s brother as see his art.

“I think it’s hard, especially with the Wally image, to be taken seriously at pretty much anything other than that,” he said with a chuckle and a shake of his head.

At 67, Mr. Dow has a head of gray hair and lives with his wife, Lauren, in the wooded Southern California arts colony of Topanga Canyon.

His reputation as a sculptor reached a new height four years ago when he had one of his bronze pieces accepted at the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, a 150-year-old art show staged annually at the Louvre.

The modest, soft-spoken Mr. Dow is quick to point out that the work — a distinctive abstract piece titled “The Warrior” — was not placed in the museum’s permanent collection. If you went to see the show that year, you would not have found it anywhere near Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.”

Compiled from Web and wire reports

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