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Neighborhood Watch

Like many others my age, I grew up on a steady diet of Sesame Street, learning my letters and numbers from a cast of oversized puppets that included Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch.

Let’s be perfectly clear: Avenue Q is not Sesame Street. But the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, which runs tonight in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, definitely took some inspiration from the Street where so many of us spent our childhoods. Avenue Q follows the story of Princeton, a recent college graduate who arrives in New York City dreaming big. Unfortunately, his bank account is noticeably smaller than his ambition. Princeton quickly realizes that the only neighborhood his budget can handle is Avenue Q, and he begins to meet his neighbors. There’s Brian, an out-of-work comedian, and his therapist girlfriend, Christmas Eve; there’s a slacker with a heart of gold named Nicky, whose Republican investment-banker roommate, Rod, appears to be hiding something; there’s Trekkie Monster, the Internet addict; and there’s Kate, the cute kindergarten assistant.

Avenue Q runs through September 21 at the Ellie, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Tickets start at $25, and despite the proliferation of puppets, the show is not recommended for children under thirteen. Visit or call 303-893-4100.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Starts: Sept. 9. Continues through Sept. 21, 2008


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