We arrived at the Brown, as usual, late. In a mad dash to find our seats just as the 7:00 showing of Sesame Street Live! Elmo's Green Thumb began, the usher at the door said, "Enter at your own risk. It's wild in there." And, yes, that just about summed up the entire evening with Elmo and his gang of furry, dancing friends.
The storyline of the performance was cute and poignant--Elmo needed the perfect place to plant his sunflower, Sunny, so he and his friends embark on a musical adventure that involves learning about nature, composting, love, and how to un-shrink themselves after Abby Cadabby accidentally fouled yet another magical spell. Each scene involved catchy songs based off familiar pop-rock tunes, a review of letters and numbers, and lots of colorful crunking.
At times it was difficult to hear the high-pitched narration of Elmo or the nasal lines of Big Bird because the audience was simply off the hook. I've been to many rock shows at the Brown and never has an audience been more live. Even over the full-on musical renditions, you could hear the cacophony of squeals, babbling, and splatters of crying. In all directions, my ears were filled with the 2-year-old chanting of "Elmo" or sometimes "Melmo" or other versions there of. Tiny hands clapped, then stuck random objects in their mouths, passed out, woke again to be revived with snow-cones or other over-priced sugary confections. It was a rock-show for babies; more surreal than Dali.
My children, 3 and 6, had varied opinions of the show. When asked their opinion of Sesame Street Live, their answers are as follows:
Nadine, 3, said, "Cool. Awesome. Awesomer than the circus."
Will, 6, said, "Uh, awful. Its a baby show--I'm 6-and-a-half, these guys are like 2. That was pretty much the worst thing I've ever seen."
My husband's opinion echoed Will's. But several dads in the audience were bitten by Elmo's garden bug. They bought $10 Elmo balloons, pointed and shouted Elmo's name each time he came across the stage, and I saw two grown men wearing Elmo t-shirts and hats. One dad behind us kept shouting, "Turn around and watch Elmo, son!" to his unimpressed toddler.
We all agreed the best part of the show was the feisty, hip-hop beetle that had some impressive dance moves to his "Moving Trash" song. His message was that nature has a system for breaking down trash, composting, and recycling, but I don't think anyone paid attention, because his intense dance moves inside his patten-leather beetle costume stole the show.
Tickets are still available for the Sesame Street Live extravaganza. If you have a Elmo fan in the house, the hour-and-a-half long show is an interesting way to spend your Saturday (5:30 showing) or Sunday (1:00 and 4:30). The best age group for this show is the 2-3 year-olds. The real littles fell asleep as soon as the lights dimmed or cried, the older ones were embarrassed to be there. Good luck parents, remember the advice, "Enter at your own risk."