MilliCal wants to see Avenue Q

Our 13 year old daughter, fresh from her Spelling Bee triumph, has announced that she and her friend want to go see Avenue Q. She pointed out that the advertisement says “Ages 13 and up”. Her friend has her parents’ permission, and Pepper Mill says it’s up to me.

She’s been exposed to lots of “mature” stuff of late, and she’s a sharp kid. I’m inclined to let her (one of us will have to go with them – the logistics alone demand it, but I’g go anyway).

What do you folks think?

I’ve seen it. There are a few “mature audience” parts that I can recall but I don’t remember them being super outrageous. I’ve spoilered what I remember, in case you are not familiar with the show.

[li]Muppet sex, a little graphic and apt to embarrass a 13-year-old if her dad is there[/li][li]“The Internet is for Porn” song - implied masturbation and the rest that goes with porn[/li][li]A few swear words but not enough to be obnoxious - some hells and damns IIRC[/li][/ul]

ETA: If it were my 13 year old and she was reasonably mature and not emotionally delicate, I’d take her.

I think it’s fine for a bright 13-year-old - yes, there are some decidedly raunchy bits, but nothing too explicit. (These are puppets, after all). And it’s a genuinely good play - if Millicall is a theatre nerd in the making, it’s well worth seeing.

My only real caveat is that you’ll probably get more out of it than your kid will. The play’s really about the aimlessness that comes with your mid-twenties, early thirties - I thought the play was funny in high school, but it didn’t really strike a chord until after law school.

I’d let her go, given what you describe. I took Moon Unit to New York last year for her 13th birthday and would have taken her (they had discount tix at the TKTS station) but she wanted to do something else that evening.

Whoo, that’s a tough one. 13 is right on the brink of what I would think is an acceptable age for the show (disclaimer: I don’t have kids). Personally I would probably wait until 14 or 15, but YMMV.

The most worrisome scene (read: embarrassing for both you and your daughter) is probably:

The two puppets are having sex in various positions, going at it like animals. Screaming orgasms, that kind of thing. The song is called “You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You’re Making Love)”. At one point, the male puppet says “Hey, you can’t put your finger there… gulp… PUT YOUR FINGER THERE!!”

Another song:

“My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada”, contains the line “And I can’t wait to eat her pussy again.”

Don’t get me wrong; it’s hilarious. And surprisingly heartwarming. But of course only you know what’s appropriate for your children.

Having met that particular 13-year-old, it seems a little sophisticated for her. Not that she’s not smart enough, but she seems a little innocent for it.

Watching a vegetarian being told she just ate chicken
Or watching a frat boy realize just what he put his dick in!
Being on the elevator when somebody shouts “Hold the door!”

No!!! It’s…Schadenfreude!..

FUCK YOU LADY!!! That’s what stairs are for!

:smiley: I’m torn. Thirteen is a little young, but it’s hilariously funny. One of my favs. Out of curiosity, what informed was your daughter’s friend’s parents. “Mom it’s a show about PUPPETS! I’ve watched Bert and Ernie when I was 5!” :wink:

I loved Avenue Q, but it is pretty raunchy. It probably depends on the 13 year old. To me it’s not so much that she will see something traumatizing as that she will likely not understand all the innuendo and it seems like that would hamper enjoyment of the show. I know I wouldn’t have gotten a lot of that show at 13, but I was a bit of a late bloomer, maybe kids are more advanced these days.

I do agree with Mr.Excellent that the play is really about the loss of youth, the meandering aimlessness of early adulthood, and the realization that your childhood dreams are not likely to come true (at least not easily). I don’t know how much a 13 year old understand that either.

But it is a good play. She would probably enjoy many parts of it. My Dad took me to see Les Miserables at around the same age and I had a great time, but looking back on it I really don’t think I understood the plot at all. Just going to a big Broadway style show is fun though, especially if she’s into theatre and musicals.

It’s definitely a play for adults – and not even young adults, since the themes really are concerns of those around 30. There’s a lot of explicitness and bawdy songs; if she doesn’t know the basis for them, she isn’t going to understand.

I’d take her to it.

My first thought was “It’s too grown up for her.” Then I thought back to [redacted] years ago when I was 13 and thought about what I watched. There’s not a whole lot that is just plain too raunchy for a mature, bright person of that age, and of the things that are, I wouldn’t definitively declare Avenue Q among them. So yes, at times it is a bit risque, but not over the top for a precocious teenager. Yes, the play is grown up, despite the presence of muppets, and some of the humor she won’t truly get. She might understand “This is a joke,” but may not really get it, get it the way grown ups do, but so what? A lot of the humor is accessible to her age group, and my biggest reservation surrounds some mild-to-intermediate raunchiness that might not be okay for some kids. I would never advise against bringing her to the play because some elements of the humor or overarching theme she likely cannot relate to.

I think **DooWahDiddy **has it when he says the toughest part might be sitting through some of the raunchiest scenes with her. I don’t know how to give advice around here, because often I think something might be awkward, then this crowd tells me I need to be more open-minded. If your daughter can handle intermittent semi-crude sex jokes, and you don’t mind being next to her during them, have at it.


I pointed out precisely this issue to her, knowing that sex stuff makes our daughter uncomfortable around us, her parents (when something like this shows up on TV, her usual response is to walk out of the room), but she says it won’t be a problem.

She doesn’t want to see Daniel Radcliff in How to Succeed?

Nope. She’s not in love with Radcliff. And we’re not going to NYC*

*although I grew up going to Broadway shows. But prices have gone way the heck up since then.

Um, it’s not just the big sex scene (although once she sees muppets 69, she’ll never be able to watch Sesame Street the same way again), there are also themes regarding drugs, partying, cheating, masturbation and homosexuality. I vote that 13 is too young for Avenue Q. (ETA: Although it has muppets in it, it’s not a kid show.) She wont understand the issues facing young adults and she won’t get the humor of most of it. She may not understand what all the muppets are doing in the sex scene (God, I hope she doesn’t!), but she could be shocked (I sure would have been at 13!). Thirteen is still pretty young. Can’t you just let her be a kid for a couple more years?

Just my two cents. You wanted opinions.

I think I’m a little young to see this! Raunchy Muppets? WTH? :confused:

It’s right on the line. It is graphically sexual at points, but I remember being 13 and it isn’t anything I wasn’t already sort of kind of exposed to.

But seeing it with you guys might be a bit much.
YT link to the music from the sex scene. This is all acted out with puppets. It’s dark, but it’s still fairly graphic. The rest is just language, but this is what I thought of as maybe being too much.

You should have seen the real thing – the Land of Gorch sketches on the first season of SNL, which had a Muppet sex scene (though not as graphic as Avenue Q.)

What does your daughter think she’s getting? Why does she want to see it? Because it’s naughty and she wants to be cool? Because it’s Muppets?

I’m thinking there is better entertainment out there for someone her age. I second the folks who want to preserve her innocence a while longer. She doesn’t have to grow up too fast. (I’m someone who was appalled by the man bringing his eight-year-old to The Dark Knight, but he probably didn’t know what he was getting into.)

She’s surprisingly sophisticated – she’s listened to some of the songs, and knows this isn’t Sesame Street muppets. She’s 13, not 5. And, as the thread title says, this is something she wants to do, not something I’m dragging her to. It’s not a matter of “letting her keep her childhood” – she’s the one who wants to discover this, and who will certainly find ways to access “forbidden” entertainment. Heck, I did, long before the Internet.