Avenue Q on Broadway

November 6, 2007

Can you imagine? If you go to Sesame Street, make a sharp turn in any direction, keep on going for 35 years or so, and you’ll get to Avenue Q.

Avenue Q is a Tony-winning musical and an irreverent parody of Sesame Street. The puppets portrayed diverse characters. This play was more fun for adult-friendly content even though Sesame Street is a popular TV program for children.
As the play begins, Avenue Q’s reality immediately sets in with an animated Sesame-style segment informing us “it’s a lovely day, a perfect morning for a kid to play,” but the inhabitants of Avenue Q have “lots of bills to pay.” In fact, the characters live there because they’re broke – and they’re not getting any richer. While Sesame Street presents a sunny story about the successes of the American dream, Avenue Q is about its failings. The puppets on Avenue Q have to deal with getting jobs, paying rent, and relationships. The tone is light and irreverent, but the messages can be serious.
The basic premise of this musical is that Princeton is searching for his purpose. Most of the other characters are grappling with some life issues too. Kate Monster wants to open a school for monsters. Rod doesn’t want to come out of the closet. The big Trekkie Monster who lives upstairs reckons the Internet is only good for one thing.

The show is clever, but in a sophomoric way. The puppets are funny and the live actors as well as the puppeteers who act along with their puppets are versatile and personable.
Before entering into the theater, I could see a lot of older couples taking pictures with smiles on their faces. Maybe they are remembering their childish innocence. All I can say is that I will definitely be making a return visit to Avenue Q with my parents soon. The performances were all fantastic.

By: Sae Na Park (Korea)


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