Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Saucy Puppet Show

"Go see a saucy puppet show." ~ Fry on Futurama.

On July 10th, I celebrated my 1 year anniversary as a mainland transplant. I have now been in New York City exactly one year and two days. [Hold for applause and/or frantic weeping.]

To celebrate, my boyfriend took me out to see a Broadway musical. Now, the BF likes the thee-tah just fine, but to get tickets, we had to stand in the discount ticket line in the middle of Times Square.

Times Square is better than it was in Taxi Driver these days; not only have they banished the whoors and drug dealers, they've blocked a lot of the area off to car traffice and they even have public yoga classes when the weather is nice.

But like most everything in BF's world, Times Square was better in the twenties and thirties. Gargantuan electronic billboards, gigantic Hello Kitties, and a McDonalds large enough to feed the entire state of Kansas--I can see why he's nostalgic for the pretty marquis and gleaming movie palaces of times past.

But it was my anniversary, so he swallowed his good taste and stood in line (or "on line" as they say in New York) with me for an hour in the midday heat to get half-price tickets a the TKTS booth to Avenue Q, the only Tony-winning Broadway musical ever to feature nude puppets having sex. What a swell guy.

On a side note, while we were on line, a guy tried to sell us restaurant coupons like we were any other tourist. This is our exchange:

Guy: Are you folks going to a show? [Menu coupons and a pen thrust out at me.]

Me: Yes, but we're not interested?

Guy: You don't want to eat?

Me: No, thank you.

Guy: You must be a New Yorker! You said "no" quicker than my wife!

Hearty shared laugh. Off we all go on our next adventures. According to Random Menu Guy in Times Square, I am now officially a New Yorker. [Hold for applause and/or storm of cursing.]

Anyhoo... Avenue Q, for anyone who doesn't follow puppet theater, is Sesame Street for big kids. A recent college graduate with a B.A. in English moves to New York City and tries to find his purpose in life while struggling to make ends meet and have a relationship with another puppet. Much drinking and hijinks ensue, and everyone wishes they could go back to college where it was warm and safe and simple to figure out..

Wait a minute... this sounds familiar...

Yep, puppets and porn monsters and Gary Coleman aside, Avenue Q is my life, and I felt much better about myself after watching it. The final number reminds us that everything, good times and bad, "are only for now. Sex! Is only for now. Your hair! Is only for now. George Bush! Was only for now." (This show premiered in 2003, btw.)

Avenue Q finishes its five year run this September, so I'm happy I saw it when I had the chance. Now I'm going to go sing "You can be as loud as the hell you want when you're making love" and get in touch with my Bad Idea Bears. See where the day takes me...

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