By Kay Krhin
We had a mom and son date the other night. We went to the Children's Theatre for the very first time to see Bert & Ernie, Goodnight!
I was excited to share my beloved Bert & Ernie, even if they weren't made of foam, with Ben.
Now I don't get to the theater much, I think the last time I went to a play was pre-kids and saw Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
at the old Guthrie. As I was sitting there in the Children's Theatre I was reminded of that very different play I saw long ago.
Both plays take place over the course of an evening, take place in one room, have their share of angst, and made me feel like I was up into the wee hours of the night right along with the characters.
But I'll just say Virginia Woolf would have been a heck of a lot funnier if there had been a bubble machine and some tap dancing sheep to ease the tension like there was in Bert & Ernie Goodnight!
B & E,G seamlessly stitches together many old familiar songs and sketches from Bert & Ernie on Sesame Street. An exasperated Bert just wants to go to sleep and Ernie seems to want to do anything but. Free spirited and spontaneous Ernie is the perfect foil to the regimented and fastidious Bert. ( the dude irons his sheets before bed - lighten up Bert!) Bert does end up breaking down, he's either slap-happy from sleep deprivation or realizes the joy of letting go and acting a little silly. Maybe a little of both.
Ultimately this show is about friendship. Even though they may be polar opposites and like different things they realize in the end that friendship is the most important thing.
Any longtime Cribsheet reader knows I am a HUGE Sesame Street fan, so it is no surprise that I LOVED it. Oh, and
3 1/2 year old Ben did too.
I was worried that he would get antsy in his seat so I snuck a few snacks into the theater in my purse. (shhh...you're not supposed to do that).
But the ushers will be glad to know I never had to fish out a single goldfish cracker for him.
Ben was enthralled and engaged the entire 75 minutes and so was I.
But even more than I loved the show, I loved the experience of experiencing it with my son.
I loved seeing him clap with gusto after each song was over and belly laugh at all of the pratfalls and stage antics.
And.. Ben has this darling yet elusive dimple. It only comes out when he is grinning really, really wide.
Do you know how happy it made me to see that dimple in the dark for the entire performance?
The show was simply dimple-inducing, that alone, is worth the price of admission.
On our drive home Ben noticed that we were being followed by a big yellow crescent moon just like the one in the stage set.
"There's the moon! Someone broke it in half.
Maybe they wanted to share it?"
One of those sweet backseat observations that make me well up.
Yes, indeed it was a good night for sharing.
You can read (the real) theater review from Star Tribune theater critic/daddy Rohan Preston here.
Bert & Ernie, Goodnight plays through October 25 at The Children's Theatre