What do you get when you take Sesame Street, puppets and monsters included, change its rating from G to R, add a very good score and take it live to the Broadway stage?

You get Avenue Q, now playing off-Bway at New World Stages on West 50th Street.

So the question is, can we take the kids?  I would say yes.  The “F” word gets some use, but so what?  There is some on-stage puppet sex which, for my part, was gratuitous, and unless puppets are intrinsically different from us sexually, du-uh, it doesn’t look like fun at all.  I mean what’s the rush?  These puppets had nowhere to go and nothing better to do.  Take your time, guys.  Smell the roses.

But I digress.  Sure, take the kids unless you believe they should be protected from all sexual references and all obscenity.  Just tell them to write down their questions or they will keep asking you ‘wha-a-d-y say?’ 

The messages are good for people of all ages and when the songs are not message-y, they are funny, never preachy.  Great score.

One very good song is Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.  A black character, some monsters, an Asian, coupla gays all exploring their little bits of racism.

“If we all could just admit; that we are racist a little bit, and everyone stopped being so PC;  maybe we could live in harmony.”

I agree.  And I needed to hear it yet again.  Just to keep me honest.

The other song which especially floated my boat was the finale, For Now.  Everything changes, so ride out the bad and enjoy the good for it is only here in this moment.  I wrote a song like that in the 70’s, so not a new thought, but, like Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist, worth hearing again and again.  Be in the moment.

“Everyone's a little bit unsatisfied. Everyone goes 'round a little empty inside. And we'll accept the things we cannot avoid, for now... Don't stress.  Relax. Let life roll off your backs.”

Avenue Q won 3 Tonys in 2004, including best musical, best book and best score.  It is still around and at off-Bway prices now is a good time to catch it up if you missed it.  Still fresh, funny and poignant.

I recommend it, surely for adults and teens, and rather than springing for a baby-sitter, bring your pre-teens.  They won’t be scarred.