Sesame Street Live is debuting a new show and its performance Friday through Sunday at Evansville's Ford Center is one of its first stops. The show - "Make a New Friend" - tells the story of Chamki, who is visiting Sesame Street from Galli Galli Sim Sim, India's version of Sesame Street.
"This show is really about exploring how to make new friends," said Denise Pajak, who portrays the Count in the show. "We show how everyone can be different but that there is a universal language of friendship. Even though we are different we can still get along."
In the interactive children's musical, Grover has a long list of things he'd like to do with his friend Chamki, from kayaking to hot yoga, but Chamki is too busy enjoying cookies with Cookie Monster, singing with Abby Cadabby and doing "The Elmo Slide" to notice. Grover hopes an appearance from Super Grover will get Chamki's attention.
Sesame Street Live has several opportunities for up-close and furry interactions as the characters often go out into the audience during the show, Pajak said. And the live show, like the television series, is filled with music; some classic tunes that will be recognizable to parents who may have grown up watching the show, as well as newer songs that are parodies of pop songs like "I Want Candy" and "Moves Like Jagger."
Pajak has been involved with Sesame Street Live for about seven years and is in her second year portraying the Count. In the past she was Burt and at one time was able to play opposite her sister portraying Ernie.
"We are all so excited about this show," Pajak said. "It is a Broadwayquality musical with a stage that is amazing and will captivate both kids and adults, and the songs and story are great.
"Sesame Street is a timeless classic. Everyone enjoys it. The best part for me is to see the children light up as soon as they walk in the building."
Characters in the show include Elmo, Grover, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, the Count, Burt and Ernie and of course, Grover's friend Chamki.
"It's a great family outing," Pajak said of the show. "I know we love seeing the children's faces light up and the parents seem to really enjoy the show too."
IF YOU GO
What: Sesame Street Live "Make a New Friend"
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday; 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Ford Center
Tickets: $15 to $48 with additional charges, available at the Ford Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets, online at www. ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. All children 1 and older are required to have a ticket.
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