I always said I'd never be one of those writers who has a kid and suddenly starts writing about, you know, being a daddy, unless there was a lot of money in it. Turns out there isn't; about all I can get out of this particular chore are three tickets to the Sesame Street Live stage production of Elmo's Coloring Book rolling through the Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie from February 24 through February 27, and somebody better make with the ducats, like, quick. If the 19-month-old currently living in my house rent-free doesn't get to see Elmo, Zoe and Oscar and all the rest of these life-sized Muppets frolicking around a stage whilst performing "I Love Trash," he won't know the difference. Kid can't read, far as I know, so he has no idea this is coming to town. But Lord knows his mommy won't let me hear the end of it; CPS already came knocking the day I hid the boy's 32 Wiggles DVDs. I have no idea whether something like this is appropriate for a boy not yet 2; seems he'd be scared senseless by the sight of a 6-foot-tall Elmo meeting up with dinosaurs, one of the particular plot points of this production. Then again, I recall the day I got to meet Sesame Street's Bob at NorthPark Center and listen to him perform "Sing" and "Sunny Days" while my mommy held my hand and let me sing along in my loudest outside voice. Best day ever. Tickets are $16 to $30; show times vary. Visit www.sesamestreetlive.com. --Robert Wilonsky
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An American philanthropist wooed a Japanese playwright into staging, in Dallas of all places, her latest work about the life of a Russian writer--a writer who, if he weren't dead, would have loved how complicated all this gets. The play is called Leaving Eden: The Chekhov Project. Maybe all you need to know is that it chronicles the life and work of one Anton Chekhov, which is to say it follows 15 characters through 25 years of 19th-century Russia, only to see all of them, at the end, at a wedding reception in New York in 2005. Crazy. Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts will draw back the curtains from Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. The play will be staged in the Greer Garson Theatre of the Owens Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. Tickets are $12 for adults. Call 214-768-2787. --Paul Kix