Sesame Street Takes Over Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library of the Performing Arts

A recreation of the Sesame Street stoop at Lincoln Center's New York Public Library

Full disclosure: I was one of the first generations of kids to fall in love with Cookie Monster. And Ernie, who has so often made me laugh out loud, for decades now. Bert maybe a little less, but still, even as a child I admired his commitment to his nerdy passions, like paper clips and pigeons. And too-cool-for-school Oscar. And then when I grew up and had kids of my own and watched it with them–call it the Elmo years–how great was it to hear them laugh and sing along to some of the same jokes and songs that I remember? So great. 

Anyway, the point is that Sesame Street is one those rare cultural touchstones that can function as both heartwarming nostalgia and fresh contemporary entertainment. That it actively educates at the same time is nothing short of a miracle. Which is why it's hard to imagine anyone, of any age, not enjoying the terrific little Sesame Street 45th-anniversary exhibition at Lincoln Center New York Public Library For the Performing Arts, "Somebody Come and Play."

Muppets on display Lincoln Center's New York Public Library

Sesame Street's "Somebody Come Out and Play"

First, for the toddler set, Sesame Street's "Somebody Come Out and Play" has actual-size (replicas? originals?) of pretty much every muppet a kid (and grown-up) would want to see, from all of the guys I mentioned above to The Count, Big Bird, Grover, Snuffleupagus, Zoe, Hoots the Owl, and a pair of Honkers with whom you can take your portrait via one of the cool "photo-booth" set-ups and get it emailed to you instantly. The fact that you can't touch the monsters (for obvious wear-and-tear reasons) seemed to not at all diminish the delight among any of the two-years I saw at the show. There are also a couple of dozen classic clips and animated songs on various videos screens scattered throughout. And there's an creativity/activity center, with supplies for drawing and chalking and some table games. If you live nearby (as many Glenwood residents do) you might find yourself taking your child here once a week.  

Big Bird on display at Lincoln Center's New York Public Library    
An onlooker checks the Sesame Street exhibit at Lincoln Center's New York Public Library.

Free Fun For The Whole Family

But at its core, the NYPL Sesame Street celebration is a real treat for adults, offering a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how the show "works", both at its inception and today. There are annotated scripts, storyboards, blueprints, animation cels, amazing old photographs (could we all have ever really been that young?), the architectural model used when they redesigned the set in the early 1990s, and a detailed look at how the Sesame Street crew–writers, directors, actors, puppeteers–take a broad educational concept and transform into something specific and lasting on the screen. Or, you know, you can also just take selfies with Cookie, or sit on the stoop next to animatronic Oscar.

The lovable and colorful Cookie Monster is at Lincoln Center's New York Public Library too!

Can You Tell Me How To Get To Lincoln Center's New York Public Library of the Performing Arts

The Sesame Street "Somebody Come Out and Play" exhibition will be at Lincoln Center's New York Public Library of the Performing Arts through January 31. Admission is free. The library is located in the northwest corner of the Lincoln Center campus, tucked away next to the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The exhibition is open Monday through Saturday, starting at 12:00 noon each day and closing at 8:00 p.m. on Monday and Thursday, and at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. For more information  and fun events follow the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts on twitter.

Posted in NYC Events | Tagged