I have two new T-shirts and you do not.
The first T-shirt has the Rock Band bass symbol on it (and it's pre-worn out! at least, I hope it's pre-worn out to look all rock-like. Thanx, Harmonix!) I won it at the Brattle on Friday night before a showing of Rock and Roll High School, where I correctly answered which "future star" was one of Sean Penn's stoner buddies in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, though I almost blurted out "Anthony Greene!"
Now I just need more chances to play bass in Rock Band.
The second T-shirt has a big AVENUE Q logo in a box and at the bottom of the box, the heads of Trekkie Monster, Princeton and Rod are peeking up over it. Joye and I saw the show last night at the Colonial and it was such fun. It completely fulfilled all the expectations I had (after having the soundtrack for, oh, four years now or something) and it was just fascinating to watch the puppetry at work, especially when one actor worked one puppet, but voiced two in a scene (operated by one of the ensemble.) Switching back and forth between a Princeton and Rod voice is one thing, but when Kate Monster and Lucy The Slut are having a heated discussion ("I dated a monster once; kept picking fur out of my teeth." "If your teeth are a problem, I could remove some!") well, major props to the actress who pulled it off. Everybody was really great.
The two-person puppets, such as Trekkie Monster and Nicky, were amazingly well done. Two-person puppets are, if you remember your Muppets, characters like Rowlf or Cookie Monster. In the show, the "voice" of both Trekkie and Nicky operated the head and left arm, while another puppeteer operated the right arm, and they worked in perfect sync. Each movement was choreographed perfectly to accentuate or help the delivery of the lines. You see it all the time on TV, but you never see how it's actually done. I loved it. Oh, and of course, the songs were all great and hilarious and the show has an inspirational-yet-not-so message at the end, and it all was just... yeah. Good stuff. The Bad Idea Bears are your frieeends! Yaaaaaaay!!
Later, Joye turned me on to the site of a former Sesame Street puppeteer who's travelling around holding workshops on rod puppets. I think we're totally signing up for it (well I know I am) even though I know full well that once the class is over I'll be left with a "Well, now what do I do with this?" feeling... but sometimes those kinds of skills you learn are the best kind, because someday...