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Theater

'Sesame Street' friends at the Palace for a celebration

| Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, 4:24 p.m.
'C is for Celebration and Cookies' in 'Sesame Street Live' at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at The Palace Theatre.
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'C is for Celebration and Cookies' in 'Sesame Street Live' at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at The Palace Theatre.
Ashley Budinick of Brick, N.J., portrays Elmo in 'Sesame Street Live! C is for Celebration' at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at The Palace Theatre.
Submitted
Ashley Budinick of Brick, N.J., portrays Elmo in 'Sesame Street Live! C is for Celebration' at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at The Palace Theatre.
Abby and Elmo celebrate with Casey and Caleb in 'Sesame Street Live! C is for Celebration' at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at The Palace Theatre.
Submitted
Abby and Elmo celebrate with Casey and Caleb in 'Sesame Street Live! C is for Celebration' at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at The Palace Theatre.

In the latest stage production of Sesame Street Live, “C is for Celebration.”

It’s also for “Cute,” “Cuddly” and “Coming” to The Palace Theatre for two performances Sept. 9.

The furry characters from the long-running Emmy Award-winning children’s television series are throwing a celebration in the latest edition of Sesame Street Live! – and everyone’s invited.

The whole bunch of Sesame Street regulars will be ready to entertain young theatergoers and their families, including Cookie Monster, Grover, Abby, Rosita and Elmo.

Elmo’s a Jersey girl

Donning the familiar bright red Elmo costume will be Ashley Budinick of Brick, N.J., a performer who has been with show producer Feld Entertainment since 2012.

Portraying her character with enthusiasm and engaging audiences are duties she takes seriously.

“Elmo is a 3-year-old preschooler, with a lot of energy, who is inquisitive and always curious about learning new things,” she says. “I relate to his high energy, so it’s easy for me to embody the characteristics of Elmo and bring him to life on stage.”

Job responsibility

She says it’s her responsibility when she portrays the iconic character to make sure every child that attends a show “sees the Elmo that they know and love” and families have an enjoyable experience together.

Before playing her current character, she was a dancer and Elmo understudy in the first Sesame Street Live! production under Feld’s new partnership with Sesame Workshop in 2017.

She also has performed in other Feld productions, including Disney Live and Disney Junior Live productions, including “Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic” and “Pirate and Princess Adventure.”

Theater 101

Budinick, who has a bachelor degree in fine arts/dance performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, says Sesame Street Live! is a great opportunity to introduce young children to their first theatrical experience.

“It’s musically and visually driven storytelling and both parents and children enjoy participating in the interactive and fun moments on stage,” she says.

In the current “C is for Celebration” production, “C” also stands for “Condensed” – in both length of the show and size of the venues in which it plays. The show has a short run time of 45 minutes – to appeal to children’s short attention span and fidget factor – and it is designed for viewing in intimate theater settings such as The Palace Theatre.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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