Before Sesame Street, Mo Willems was just like any other struggling New York talent. He had an improv troupe and a variety show on the Lower East Side. To keep up with bills, he hand-painted trading cards for his more successful friends, and he took a research job at Sesame Street. When the latter evolved into a solid writing/animation gig and a handful of Emmys, Willems realized that creating for kids was his dream job, so he left the show and came up with a determined character called The Pigeon, followed quickly by Knuffle Bunny. Books based on the characters won Caldecotts (Knuffle Bunny was recently turned into a musical that premiered at the Kennedy Center). To anyone under 3 feet, Willems is a superstar, and he doesn’t take the honor lightly. His live readings are raucous events involving audience participation, on-the-spot character sketches, and deftly-delivered life lessons. But Don’t Let the Comedians Do Story Time!takes it up a few notches. With the help of live actors — cast members from SNLand The State such as Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Michael Ian Black, and David Wain, as well as Janeane Garofalo and Andy Richter — Willems transforms his beloved stories into live sketch comedy.
Sun., Feb. 10, 11 a.m., 2013