Elmo and Cookie Monster Make Meeting Street Kids Smile

The beloved characters stopped by the school to spread some joy before Sesame Street Live: Let’s Dance hits PPAC.

Inside the Meeting Street School in Providence, the entire student body and their teachers sit on the gymnasium floor, chattering amongst themselves. Head of school Margaret Knowlton stands in front of the microphone, claps her hands, and says, “Good morning!” Immediately the murmur stops and the children sit up straight and repeat back in a singsong voice: “Good morning!”

“Why is everyone here?” Knowlton asks. “Do you think Elmo is here?”

A minute later, Jeff Dietzel, a spokesperson and understudy for Sesame Street Live: Let’s Dance enters the gym with two friends: Elmo and Cookie Monster. The duo launches into song and dance, while the kids bounce along to the music. Smiles spread across each child’s face. In this moment, they are elated.

Lucky for Dietzel, he gets to make children smile every day he is on the job. “My favorite part is seeing the kids’ reactions when the characters come out to the audience. Their faces light up,” he says. “You are a celebrity to them.”

Dietzel reads a book to the children, Sesame Street: Count to Ten, and then Elmo and Cookie Monster make their way around the room to take photos with each Meeting Street class.

You can watch Elmo and Cookie Monster perform live this week at Providence Performing Arts Center. The show opens tomorrow, April 1, and will run through Sun., April 3. It features timeless tunes and lessons for all ages. Tickets range from $21 to $68, but for the opening night show, Fri. April 1 at 6:30 p.m., all seats are $18. To order tickets, visit or call the PPAC box office at 401-421-2787 or order online here.