Sesame Street friends are making magic!

Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic (SSL) makes a two-show stop in Lakeland on Sept. 17.
Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic (SSL) makes a two-show stop in Lakeland on Sept. 17.
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Elmo embarks on a magical journey in Sesame Street Live ! Make Your Magic
Elmo embarks on a magical journey in Sesame Street Live ! Make Your Magic

LAKELAND — Elmo dreans of being part of a big magic show, but he doesn't know any magic. That's where the ''power of yet'' comes in — the lesson that if you  keep on trying, you can do anything.

And that's what “Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic (SSL)” will share when it comes to Lakeland on Sept. 17.

In partnership with the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, SSL  combines singing, dancing and high-energy music to make a night of  entertainment for everyone.

Ashley Budinick, SSL performance director since 2016, said the latest  “Make Your Magic” tour centers around one of Sesame Street’s most popular characters.

Elmo becomes inspired to learn a magic trick when he meets the show’s master magician and emcee, “Justin.” Elmo goes on a journey to learn magic and along the way, learns it’s OK to make mistakes. On his way, he is inspired by long-time Sesame Street favorites  Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Grover and The Count along with newer characters Gonger, Abby Cadabby and Rosita. Together, they entertain while instilling underlying lessons in math, science and art.

As each character is introduced during the 80-minute show, Justin shares with the audience about magic and the show concludes with a magic show.

“The whole show is extremely educational. We have a lot of counting. We learn science as well. We really go through a whole genre of things and it’s completely educational for the entire family,” said Budinick. “Our whole story around this show is magic and the power of magic and there’s magic all around you.”

Among the scenarios, Cookie Monster and Gonger explore science while baking, Abby Cadabby learns about the transformative abilities of caterpillars, Big Bird is introduced to shadow puppetry, Rosita conjures rhythmic beats using everyday objects  and, as an artist, Grover explores the pigments of the three primary colors.

Budinick said the SSL plot remains the same show to show and uses magic as an introduction to live theater and the art of illusion

“It’s also a highly interactive show. We encourage the audience to get up and dance, sing along with us, join in in all of the activities we have going on. There are definitely moments in the entire show where there’s audience interaction,” said Budinick.

The SSL tour travels with 35 members: 12 cast, 12 crew and the remaining administrative staff and merchandising employees.

Sesame Street Live came to Lakeland in 2019 and the “Sesame Street Live: Make Your Magic” RP Funding Center stop is one of 22 dates for the 2022 tour, with the other Florida date Oct. 22 in Miami. The tour ends Dec. 29 in Glendale, Arizona.


WHAT: Sesame Street Live: Make Your Magic

WHEN: 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., Sept. 17

WHERE: RP Funding Center Youkey Theatre, 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland

COST: $18 to $58, parking $10.

INFO: 863-834-8111 or

This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Two shows Sept. 17 follow Elmo on a magical tour