Avenue Q concieved by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx
There are a few perks being a student - one is cheap tickets to shows. And I would call cheap tickets to Avenue Q a pretty major perk.
Avenue Q has been getting amazing reviews worldwide with Australian comedian Rove McManus comparing it to Sesame St crossed with South Park. Being both able to remember Sesame Street well and a big fan of South Park, Avenue Q was a performance I was really looking forward to.
Taking the concept of a children’s show and turning it into something that an older audience can not only appreciate but also laugh at is a huge skill. The contrast to the children’s show is also what makes the show so successful. Instead of the characters dealing with childhood issues, they are dealing with adult issues such as sexuality,racism, and unemployment. Although, like Sesame Street, the show is still filled with lessons (more adult than the children’s show of course!) for their viewers, as the central character searches for his ‘purpose’ in life. It is the music of course that communicates these lessons to the audience with song titles such as - “If You Were Gay”,”The Internet Is for Porn”, and ”There Is Life Outside Your Apartment”.
While credit is of course given to the writers, there has to be a lot of credit given to the cast to bring the production to life. While the characters were mainly puppets, each puppet was controlled by an onstage actor. Despite the actors being obviously onstage, they disappeared as the puppets came to life. It was really amazing- to be able to take an inanimate object and to create it into a living, ‘breathing’, character. The ability of the cast to do this really made the production engaging.
The beauty of Avenue Q is that while the show was hilarious and made me laugh, I also came out with a few lessons learnt. Avenue Q not only entertains, but like Sesame St. it teaches.
From Avenue Q’s closing song “for Now”:
Let life roll off your backs
Except for death and paying taxes,
Everything in life is only for now!