19 May 2011

Avenue Q

Yesterday I saw Avenue Q.
I didn't even know it existed until a couple of weeks ago when I found out about it online. Then a few days later I discovered it was showing near by. This was clearly the universe getting me to buy theatre tickets.

It's a musical set in downtown New York and features a cast of humans and hand puppets (of the Muppet-like variety). It's about a group of people (monsters, humans and badly behaved bears) who live on the eponymous avenue and face various challenges and personal complications that are part of life as an adult.
The style is very Sesame Street, the content is very adult - it includes swearing and puppet sex.

It was very funny! And pretty weird.
There were songs like 'If You Were Gay', 'Everyone's A Little Bit Racist' and 'Schadenfruede'.

The story itself is nothing groundbreaking, but the way it's done is great. The puppeteers are right there on the stage, sometimes voicing two different characters in a scene, but they are utterly ignored by the cast. Obviously this required a certain amount of disbelief suspension, but it wasn't difficult as it's the characters (rather than their operators/voice actors) that are the focus of attention. The organisation was impressive, I honestly thought there were more puppeteers than there actually were.

I recommend this if you are someone who is not put off by swearing, sex or Gary Coleman (well, not actually him, obviously).

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