28 February 2011

The Street

Another day, another rite of passage.

It seems the milestones are coming fast and furious these days, as if the Doozer is in some kind of serious hurry to grow up. Memo to Doozer: please slow down.

Anyway, one of our latest major milestones involved taking the kid into the city to a fancy theater to see all his pals from the television. That's right. We took the Doozer to Sesame Street Live. This is a big event in the life of many a child. It's an institution, almost as much as the series itself. They've been bringing the show to live stages for decades, it seems, at least since I was a kid (though I don't think I was ever quite fortunate enough to go as a youngster myself). And it's definitely worth checking out with your kids, if you haven't already done so.

For weeks beforehand, we talked up the show, to get the Doozer prepared. We've found that lengthy, repetitive conversation is often the best way for him to embrace new experiences. Serious preparation. So, leading up to the show, he kept talking about how much he wanted to see Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster at the theater. The day of the show, we get to the theater and the lights come down and the show begins. The theme of the show is using your imagination and during the opening number, a plethora of characters appears onstage, expanding on this theme. There's Grover! There's Abby! There's Elmo! And Big Bird!

Cookie Monster is nowhere in sight.

"Where's Cookie Monster?" the Doozer asks.

We're hopeful he's like a second act surprise or something. We tell our son he must be coming later.

"Where's Cookie Monster?" he asks again. And again. And again.

Awesome, Sesame Street Live is a disaster. This was supposed to be like the Beatles at Shea Stadium, our kid was supposed to be rapturous with excitement about seeing his favorite characters live in a theater and —

Oh, wait, there he is. "Cookie Monster!" the Doozer exclaims as the big, furry blue one shows up at 10 or 15 minutes into the show. Disaster averted. All is right with the world. Of course, the Doozer is still not rapturous with excitement. He's more interested in the snack we brought him than the show. Doesn't he realize he's seeing the Beatles?

Well, he liked the theater seats that you can put up and down. There was that, at least.

In the end, overall, it was a fun, enjoyable experience for the Doozer. Even if he did tell us that everyone but Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster was "too loud." Although, personally, I was a little surprised not to see or hear any of the greatest hits. I mean, you see somebody live on stage, you expect the greatest hits, right? But there was no "Rubber Duckie" or "C is For Cookie," nothing. Not even the theme song about sunny days and whatnot.

It reminded me of that old SNL bit with David Spade where he admonishes bands for not playing their greatest hits in concert, encouraging Big Country to be sure and play "In a Big Country" when he goes to their show.

And don't get me started on the impostor Mr. Noodle they sprang on us during the Elmo's World segment. That was most certainly not Bill Irwin, gifted mime and stage actor, he of dishwasher loading fame in Rachel Getting Married.

But honestly, I can't really complain. It was fun. Sesame Street is awesome. I'm consistently impressed by its high quality and educational value and heart and humor and music and everything else. I find it to be a positive influence in my son's life. And if they continue to put out heartfelt messages like this one, then it's all right by me.

Let me just hit play and watch the Doozer dance around the room . . .

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