Avenue Q Review
For a night of non-family Fun, Avenue Q is a hilarious, rip-roaring comedy that is the winner of the TONY “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. Leave the kids at home for this x-rated and extremely rude night filled with un-pc puppets.
Far from family-friendly, Avenue Q is a sort of x-rated version of Sesame Street. This puppet-filled musical is a take on a children’s style show that you will not have seen before. It covers a wide range of controversial themes such as homosexuality and casual racism in a tactful and hilarious way. Avenue Q hit the stage in 2002 and now, 18 years later, it continues to storm the globe with it’s punchy lyrics, catchy tunes and undeniably crude and adult content.
The music and lyrics are written Robert Lopez – the mind who co-created The Book Of Mormon as well as co-writing the biggest hits from Frozen and Jeff Marx, the show is full of numbers that are both warm and fuzzy whilst being sometimes shocking and rude with rather outrageous titles such as The Internet is for Porn, I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today and Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist. Beware – these songs are incredibly catchy and you will find yourself singing them days after you’ve seen the show.
The extremely talented cast is made up of fourteen characters, three human and eleven puppets. This may seem a little jarring at first but soon enough you get into the swing of things and settle into this new reality before you and the puppets really come to life. The production is so slick that some of the cast play multiple puppet characters at the same time, easily shifting between the different personas. It is a testament to both the actors and the concept that the staging which is paired back and the simple costumes fall to the back of your mind. This is a rip-roaring success of a musical where the voice-work and energy of the cast really shines through.
The story follows a recent graduate, Princeton who moves onto the affordable Avenue Q in a run-down apartment in New York with the goal of finding his ‘purpose’. Here he meets the rest of the personalities that make up the Avenue Q cast, Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet ‘sexpert’) and Lucy the slut as well as a host of other interesting characters. Princeton and the other characters encounter real-world and difficult problems such as hangovers, issues with their relationships and job woes that contrast with the Sesame Street style visuals and this is what really makes this such a fantastic and forward thinking piece of theatre still 18 years after it was written.
Like the rest of the audience, I found myself crying with laughter throughout however Avenue Q is certainly not for the faint of heart. It will both shock and surprise you in wonderful ways, it can be both hilariously funny but also touching and heartfelt – just make sure that who ever you go with will be enjoys dark humour, swearing and, of course, watching filthy puppet sex – you won’t be getting that image out of your mind anytime soon!