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Mars Needs Muppets

Sesame Street looks spaceward

by and

Sesame Street doesn't seem to be the most likely place in America for aliens to visit -- but then again, if you're looking to learn about the human race, where better to go than the capital of the edu-tainment industry? "Out of This World," the latest Sesame Street Live stage show, concerns the adventures of two Martians (portrayed here by those loose-jawed Yup-Yups) stuck on Earth who learn about the human race and teach us about ourselves, all while trying to get home. In other words, it's sort of like Roswell re-enacted by Muppets.

Like all Sesame Street Live shows, "World" features the usual elements of a Sesame Street episode: musical numbers, Muppets, recurring segments such as "Journey to Ernie" and a letter and number of the day (hopefully not "A" and "51"), with a slightly tighter plot to boot. It also promises educational parodies of "Whip It" and "We Are Family" to keep parents at attention while the kids learn. Finally, be warned that the cast of the show includes that soul-crushing crimson turd Elmo, Sesame Street's embodiment of the lesson that there's no shame in using Ritalin. "Out of This World" runs from January 7 through 11 at the Savvis Center (14th Street at Clark Avenue). Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster (314-241-1888) and range from $11 to $30. For more info, including showtimes, call 314-531-7887. -- Niles Baranowski

Snips and Snails
Make for lousy soap

SAT 1/10

Soap is the natural enemy of children -- well, boys, anyway. Girls don't seem to mind taking a bath, but boys hate it. Perhaps it's because they are filthy little snot-nosed monsters (ask any older sister and this theory will be emphatically corroborated), or perhaps this is because there is no soap that smells appealing to the little bounders. Lavender? Peaches and cream? Not likely. Now, if they made a soap that smelled like moist dirt or Froot Loops, then boys would join the bathing set. Neither of these exotic aromas is on the docket for the 1 p.m. Making Natural Soap class at Rockwoods Reservation (2751 Glencoe Road, 636-458-2236, free), but you can apply elbow grease and imagination to what you learn and perhaps make a boy-soap breakthrough on your own time. -- Paul Friswold