Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Word on the Street

A few months ago we took Anne to see Mickey, Minnie, Tigger and Pooh at the Cajundome in Lafayette. My parents came with us, because they had no choice - I had already bought tickets for them, and told them if I had to sit through it then they should, too. Then I guilt-tripped them into canceling their other plans and escorting us to the Cajundome for some Disney fun.

I'm what we call the "Loving Son."

We all thought it was "Disney on Ice" - except Betty, who repeatedly told us that it was not on ice. But once we Tanory's get something in our heads, it's tough to get it out. (I'm still singing a song that I heard on the radio from 1994.) And because I'm cheap, I bought the highest possible seats available. Even the Mickey on Annie's shirt got a nosebleed.

The Disney show had a long-running plot that none of the kids could follow, could only fit a few characters on stage at the same time, and was comprised of people in Disney character outfits running around and bobbing their heads in time to the pre-recorded soundtrack. To be fair, there was a humanoid Cinderella who really sang and danced, but we were too far away from the stage for Anne to enjoy it.

Anne bounced in her seat when Tigger came out, but other than that, she could really care less. We weren't surprised, because the show kind of sucked.

So when Elmo and friends came to Baton Rouge, we decided to take Anne, but we didn't have high expectations for it. But boy, were we ever rocked out of our frickin' skulls by the Sesame Street crew!

[Picture: Taking the obligatory picture in front of the Sesame Street truck]

For starters, instead of paying for the cheapest tickets we could get, we decided to spring for floor seats. We were on the third row from the stage, and we had aisle seats just in case a tall person with big hair sat in front of us.

Second, there were about ten characters and a human actor, and the stage was large enough for everyone to fit on at one time. The stage wasn't just a boring old stage, either. It had a catwalk. One of the characters was a lady postal worker, and she sang and danced the whole time. And we knew that it was real singing, not pre-recorded stuff, because we were close enough to hear her actual voice.

[Picture: Big Bird rocks the crap out of the stage]

The characters were agile - they were dancing, jumping, doing cartwheels, and had synchronized dance moves. And the characters' mouths moved, so it really looked like they were talking and singing. It was night and day compared to the Disney show.

[Picture: Big Bird rocks the crap out of the stage]

One of the benefits of floor seats at the Sesame Street show is that the characters do stuff off the stage, like dance in the aisles. Annie got to see Abbie Cadabby, Bert, Elmo, Baby Bear and Count von Count all up close.

[Picture: The characters danced with us on the floor]

Baby Bear danced with Anne, and Bert, Elmo and the Count blew her kisses.

[Picture: The characters danced with us on the floor]

The best part about the Sesame Street show was that it didn't have one long plot. It was broken up into short segments, about 7 minutes each. Each segment had a different background with lights and confetti, and every character was on stage for every part of the show (except when they were dancing on the floor). There were two one-hour sessions with a short intermission in between. It kept Anne's attention, but was fun enough for adults as well.

We loved the Sesame Street show so much that we're thinking about going up to the Sesame Place theme park in Pennsylvania. Now I just need to think of a way to con my parents into coming with us.

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