Any kid who ever longed to be one of Jim Henson's fun-loving Muppets will envy 22-year-old Cindy Fereno her job.
Fereno plays the character of Prairie Dawn in a touring production of Sesame Street Live, coming Wednesday, Nov. 14, to Prescott Valley's Tim's Toyota Center.
"Elmo's Super Heroes," with shows at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., centers on everyone's favorite bumbling blue Muppet Super Grover. He's somehow lost his "superness," and it's up to his friends to help him find it. The story promotes healthy habits through song and dance.
"The most important thing about this show, I feel it's really good for children at a very young age to get the idea it's good to have good nutrition, good hygiene and to take care of their body," Fereno said.
She said sometimes kids will better listen to someone besides their parents.
"If they hear from somebody that's a role model, like Big Bird, they take that to heart. A week after the show they maybe are at home singing (Sesame Street Live songs)," she said.
This year Fereno is the understudy for several roles, including Zoe, her character from last season.
"Zoe was always my favorite, she's a little ballerina," Fereno said. "My whole life I've just wanted to dance - to be a ballerina."
Going to college at Rutgers University changed the New Jersey native's focus somewhat, as she studied other genres in her dance major. She learned to enjoyed diverse styles from Hip Hop (working at Six Flags) to ballet.
She also is a gymnast.
Sesame Street Live combines her favorite things - dancing, gymnastics (she gets to do a cartwheel, at least), and entertaining children.
"I babysat a lot (as a teenager)," she said.
This season's Sesame Street Live actually encompasses three tours, including the brand new "Can't Stop Singing" and "Elmo Makes Music," visiting 150 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
"We travel by bus and we all get along very well. I have met some of the nicest people ever," Fereno said.
A typical tour includes a cast of 14 among its 25-person entourage, and 40,000 pounds of equipment.
"The costumes are state-of-the-art, designed to keep us as cool and comfortable as possible," she noted.
If she wasn't performing, Fereno said she would be using her other degree - in human resources - to manage a theme park's entertainment department. But that's far into the future. Traveling and entertaining is what she loves now.
"I love my friends and family (at home) but they're all proud of me and know this is what I want to be doing," Fereno said.
She's hoping to see some of Arizona's landmarks.
"Maybe the Grand Canyon," she said, adding that the tour - with its mix of large and small venues - comes to Prescott Valley from Las Vegas.
"We see wonderful cities. It's a lot of fun," Fereno said.
Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Schools and childcare centers also receive extra discounts for the 11 a.m. matinee show. For more information, call 928-772-1819.
Tickets also are available online at GetTix.net or by calling 866-443-8849.