What I watched -- Live theater version: "Avenue Q" at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver
The lights come up on an urban street scene. Row houses line the street. It's all a bit like "Sesame Street." Puppets and live actors mingle. Characters have names like Kate Monster, Brian, Trekkie Monster, Christmas Eve, Gary Coleman and Lucy the Slut. Yeah, this is not your kindergartner's puppet show. While it's like "Sesame Street" with puppets, songs and important lessons, the puppets of "Avenue Q" drop the F-bomb, have carnal relationships and sing songs to teach us "It Sucks to Be Me," "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" and "The Internet Is For Porn."
At various times, two adorable bears show up to help our characters make decisions. They are the bad idea bears. They offer essential advice like, "Take her home. She's wasted. Yaaay!" and "Why buy a six-pack if you can save money buying bulk? Yaaaaaaaaaaay!"
And while it has puppets, it's definitely not for the kiddies. To my dismay, as usually happens with things that are inappropriate for children, people brought their pre-teens. I imagine they had some interesting conversations later that evening explaining the puppet sex.
"Avenue Q" is irreverent, funny and probably offensive to a lot of people. So, of course, I thoroughly enjoyed it. You can see and hear some clips on the official Web site. But you really have to see the entire show to fully appreciate it. It's playing in Denver now through Sept. 21.