If Sesame Street grew up, went to college, worried about paying rent, and knew how to access online porn, it would look a lot like Avenue Q. Monsters, puppets, and people share a disintegrating apartment building in Manhattan, as well as a charming tendency to burst into harmonious song about racism and whose life sucks the most.
Labeled an irreverent smash hit when it opened on Broadway in 2003, Avenue Q probably feels more subversive to tourists from Omaha than anyone living in the Bay Area. But it’s funny and quirky and universal: 20-something puppets graduate from college only to learn that a BA in English isn’t quite the ticket to fame and fortune they thought, 30-somethings are still trying to wrest meaning (and a paycheck) from life, and a closeted gay puppet suffers an identity crisis next door to a horny monster. Boasting a Tony-winning book and score, Avenue Q is a bawdy little love letter to anyone who’s looking for life purpose or puppet sex. (Yes, there's puppet sex.)
Through February 27. Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market Street. Tickets are $30-99 at shnsf.com or 888-746-1799.