A dear friend of mine who shall remain nameless for this entry was not allowed to watch Sesame Street as a child because her father was worried about the influence of Gordon, who is black. My friend’s father would be even less trusting of Ave Q. Robert Lopez, a former writer on Sesame Street, took the concept of Sesame Street, helping kids learn social interaction, letters, words, and numbers and applied it to 20 and 30 somethings – what would Sesame Street look like if written for this time of life.
Jim and I finally got to see our beloved musical. And while I take credit for introducing the soundtrack to my then friend, he may love it more than I do now. Ave Q could be considered an R rated version of Sesame Street, but a lot of what folks deal with in this age range is R rated in some way. Songs about sex, puppets that are called the bad decision bears, and racism exist in ways to work through the issues- and yes it is funny.
Knowing a soundtrack like the back of my hand helps my experience of a show – but I also loved getting the story behind the songs. I also really liked how the 3 humans talked to the puppet characters instead of their puppetiers – so Sesame Street and another hark back to the show is those non-puppeted segments on Sesame Street that help spell or count – two large flat screens occasionally would be lowered and a fun animation would further the theme of the show. SO Sesame street. And while on the back of the program there was a disclamer that nothing is related to Sesame Street INC – I sometimes wish I could tune into a show each day to learn a grown up lesson like I did when I was watching Sesame Street.
I don’t think I have a favorite song or a favorite part of last night – I was pretty much smiles the whole night. I found myself thinking of my friend who enjoys Weird Al concerts and wondered if this is what she felt like during those concerts.
I can’t recommend Ave Q for everyone – especially those people in front of my friends M, C and J who most likely have season tickets to Broadway in Chicago and never knew that they were walking into a pretty crude look at life of a 20 or 30 something. But if you are in that age category and you don’t mind R rated humor – go for it if it comes near you.