You’ve just got to love a musical that features a warning about “full puppet nudity and other vulgarities.” Heading into the Wednesday matinee performance of Avenue Q at the Arts Club Theatre, I was actually worried that some poor parent might think puppets = kid-friendly and then end up having to have some really awkward conversations with their children after the show. What I didn’t expect was that the theatre would be full of seniors… but as my friend Donna pointed out, who else is free to go to the theatre at 2pm midweek? Good point.
I love Avenue Q, having seen it three times in New York (Broadway and Off-Broadway) as well as the touring production’s stop in Vancouver a couple of years ago, and the show translated well to the small community-based Arts Club Theatre. One thing that always amazes me about this show is the connection between the human puppeteer’s body language and facial expressions and that of their puppet(s). They give life and unique personalities to these constructions of felt and fur.
When asked what Avenue Q is like, I often describe it as “Sesame Street meets South Park, with songs about racism and sex and being gay.” But the heart of the play is really that universal feeling that our lives lack meaning, and accepting that hey, everyone feels that way and it’s okay.
And now for three fun things about Avenue Q:
1. The original Broadway production’s director was Jason Moore, who was nominated for a Tony as best director in 2004. Last year, he directed his first movie: the fabulous Pitch Perfect.
2. One of the catchiest songs from Avenue Q is “The Internet is for Porn,” which went viral after a video was posted featuring World of Warcraft characters singing the lyrics:
3. I once wrote a blog post for a previous job in which I used the song “What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?” as a metaphor for career planning for Arts students.
Avenue Q is playing at the Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island through August 17. Buy tickets and go see it!