Monday, August 18, 2008

Sesame Street Soap Opera

Now ya'll know how I feel about Sesame Street, so how tickled was I to find this backstage romance in this week's NYT Vows column. Especially since it reads like a soap opera:
THE letter “D” is for Divorce. “P” is for Pining Away, and “R” is for Remarriage.

Don’t look for those alphabet mnemonics anytime soon on “Sesame Street,” although they are story elements in the backstage romance between Annie Evans and Martin P. Robinson...

Mr. Robinson, 54, is a puppeteer who plays Snuffy, Telly and Slimey the Worm on “Sesame Street,” where he’s worked since 1981.

When he met Ms. Evans, though, Mr. Robinson was mired in creating his own puppet extravaganza, which depicted, he said, “the entire creation of the universe, protons up to sentient beings, and its destruction.”

Days before its premiere at the O’Neill, the project was a shambles. “Puppeteers are notorious for getting lost in making their puppets, sets and costumes, but forgetting to write a strong story,” Ms. Evans said. “Marty, who I’d just met, clearly needed my help, big time.”

Over countless hours of argument and revisions, a mutual admiration blossomed. Mr. Robinson remembered being struck by her intelligence and ability to quickly unearth the core emotional truth of a scene. “Annie jumped right in, without any judgment,” he said. “I thought, ‘This is really an excellent girl.’ ”

Mr. Robinson conceded that he had been prone to mixing business with pleasure. When he met Ms. Evans, in fact, he was involved with a woman he had begun seeing during a stage production of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

“Encountering someone cold, maybe at a bar, then dating? I wouldn’t know how to do that,” he said. “But in the pressure cooker of theatrical work — all the tension, laughter and intense emotions — you get to know someone really well, and can segue that into a relationship.”

Though she, too, was smitten by his energy and sense of humor, Ms. Evans said, when she learned that Mr. Robinson was seeing another woman, she “slammed the door” to her heart. “We could be friends,” she said. “Nothing more.”

Dunh-dunh-dunh!!! See how the Sesame Street Saga turned out here

Preview: my previously stated belief that writers will date (and perhaps marry) anyone who claims to be a huge fan of their writing turns out to be true. We're compliment slutty that way.

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