Sprites – Grotto’s Grove

Sprites – Magical woodland creatures featured on the children’s series JOHNNY AND THE SPRITES that aired on PLAYHOUSE DISNEY/DIS/2005-2008. The program was shot at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York City.

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The series followed the adventures of Johnny T (John Tartaglia), a musician/songwriter who moved to a quiet countryside house given to him by his great-uncle to work on his music. To his surprise Johnny discovered a portal in his backyard that lead to a band of magical creatures (puppets) known as Sprites who dwelled in the flowery, enchanted woods of Grotto’s Grove.

“Keep your eyes and ears open when you visit the enchanted woods of Grotto’s Grove, cause you might just Meet The Sprites! Invisible to everyone except Johnny and now, YOU!”

During their visits, Johnny and the Sprites sing songs, play, solve-problems and teach each other life lessons like patience, manners, friendship, sharing, keeping promises, respect for  other cultures and customs, self-esteem and caring for the environment.

The residents of Grotto’s Grove included:

  • Ginger (Leslie Carrara-Rudolph) – a tomboyish pink and purple air sprite. She like sports.
  • Basil (Tim Lagasse) – a bookish green and yellow eatch sprite. He wears glasses and knows a lot about gardening.
  • Lily (Carmen Osbahr) – a serene, Spanish-speaking blue Water Sprite.
  • Root (Heather Asch) – a very young Earth sprite whose enchanted power are just surfacing.
  • Sage (John Tartaglia) – Sage, the oldest and wisest of the sprites with whom all the sprites seek council. He is sometimes forgetful and has been known to fall a sleep in the middle of a conversation.
  • Seymour (James J Kroupa) – a purple shmole (mole) who lived under Johnny’s garden and likes to eat his vegetables.
  • Fuzzies – tiny woodland creatures who live with the Sprites and help maintain the woodlands.
  • Francesca Frog (Jamie Donmoyer)

Other humans to visit Grotto’s Grove included:

  • Gwen (Natalie Venecia Blecon) – Johnny’s neighbor, who works at may occupations. She’s not sure what she wants to be yet.
  • Tina (Sutton Foster) – Johnny’s sister.
  • Miss Moldystew (John Tartaglia) – Johnny’s cranky neighbor who drops by on occasion.

new-york-queens-johnny-sprites-music

Theme Song Lyrics

Johnny:
I came to live
In this house in the woods
To work on my music on my own
But somehow I feel it’s a magical place
And somehow I feel I’m not alone
I was just Johnny till I walked through that door
But I’m not just Johnny anymore!
I’m Johnny.
Johnny & the Sprites:
And the Sprites!
Johnny:
Did you see one?
Johnny and the Sprites:
And the Sprites!
Johnny:
Could you be one?
Johnny and the Sprites:
Johnny and the Sprites!
Sage:
Nobody else sees us, it’s true
Ginger:
There’s only Johnny, and now there’s you
Johnny:
Sprites can be shy.
Ginger, Basil, Lily:
But we’re friendly.
Root:
And cute!
[Ending]
Sprites:
So if you should roll to Grotto’s Grove
Come join in a song,
You can sing it too
With you know who!
Johnny:
Johnny!
Sprites:
And the Sprites!
Johnny:
Sing along now.
Sprites:
And the Sprites!
Johnny:
That’s our song now.
All:
Johnny and the Sprites!

NOTE: The series was created by Johnny Tartaglia, a Broadway-trained singer and a longtime Sesame Street veteran. Filled with dance, songs and storylines, this high-energy program premiered on October 9, 2005 with five 5-minute-long episodes. Due to its popularity, the program was increased to half-hour program t in 2006.

The series was aimed at preschool children 2 – 5 years of age. Each episode contained two, 11-minute stories and featured a Broadway style song which supported the theme of the story.

On May 14, 2009, John Tartaglia received four Daytime Emmy nominations for his Disney Channel show JOHNNY AND THE SPRITES.

The Sprites
c/o Johnny T
Grotto’s Grove

Johnny and the Sprites (IMDB)

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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