Welcome! Log in or Register
£9.45 Best Offer by: foyles.co.uk See more offers
8 Reviews

A refreshingly witty musical performed by an unholy comedic alliance of humans and puppets. This huge Broadway success is now at the Noël Coward Theatre!

  • Sort by:

    * Prices may differ from that shown

  • Write a review >
    How do you rate the product overall? Rate it out of five by clicking on one of the hearts.
    What are the advantages and disadvantages? Use up to 10 bullet points.
    Write your reviews in your own words. 250 to 500 words
    Number of words:
    Write a concise and readable conclusion. The conclusion is also the title of the review.
    Number of words:
    Write your email adress here Write your email adress

    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    8 Reviews
    Sort by:
    • More +
      08.07.2012 07:42

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Great musical, brilliant laughs, worth seeing!

      quite simply this show is brilliant! The songs are great and the performers just as talented. I saw the UK tour recently and it lived up to expectations. It was entertaining from the first to the last minute with satirical comedy at times. It is a 'rip off' of sesame street and the interaction of the puppets with real people like sesame street had guest presenters. Also picking focus words, 'purpose' was one of these which inspired an act. Teh show takes you through the hardships of life, realising that the world is tough and the glitz and glam of sesame street etc cannot provide the same dreams to reality. The show covers topics such as racism, sexual orientation and friendships on all levels. Light humour is made out of every subject to approach some of the more difficult issues but always with a 'tongue-in-cheek' style as to not offend. Avenue Q has been known as "the dirty muppets" some of the characters are near carbon copies of their counterparts but this makes the show seem familiar and crosses over into the truth. This is similar to when children's TV show Rainbow did the 'lost' episodes which were riskay. The stage performance of avenue Q is brilliant though. It has been on Broafway and is now off Broadway and the success of the tour speaks of the quality of the sogns and the performers. I laughed all the way through. Totally reccommend it!!

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
    • More +
      01.07.2012 00:28
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      I would watch it again ten times over right now if I could.

      I've wanted to watch Avenue Q for a long time - ever since I first saw a video of the song 'The Internet is for Porn' online. The video wasn't from any show performance, but was a song from the soundtrack remade with 'World of Warcraft' characters, but nonetheless it inspired me to seek out other songs from the musical on youtube, and the subjects they covered and the unique way they did so made me determined to see the show for myself sometime . My chance came today - currently touring the UK, the show came to Nottingham, and it was with great excitement that my boyfriend and I took our seats at 7.30 tonight . Having heard many of the songs before, I was a little concerned that the musical wouldn't offer me anything new - I'm glad to say I was very wrong. Avenue Q tells the story of 22 year old Princeton, a recent university graduate with a degree in English, looking for his first home and finding that, with many neighbourhoods out of his price range, Avenue Q seems like the perfect place to make his home. Upon arriving there, he meets his new neighbours, an oddball collection of life's losers - Brian, the failed comedian, his fiancée Christmas Eve, a therapist with no clients on her book, and then the unlucky in love Kate Monster. Then there's closet homosexual Rod, with his unrequited love for his flatmate Nicky, and the porn obsessed Trekkie Monster, and Gary Coleman the landlord/handyman. The play takes us through the many little problems in their lives - dealing with racism, love, jobs, and everyone's hopes and dreams. Acted out using puppets, (with the actors visible on stage at the same time) it's almost inevitable that people will describe this as 'Muppets for Adults' , something the writers were clearly aware of when penning the first song 'What do you Do with a B.A. in English?' which blatantly steals the tune from 'Rainbow Connection'. However, as the show went on, I quickly forgot about any such comparisons, as the show is fantastic in it's own right. The songs, it has to be said, are absolutely fantastic - hilarious lyrics that make you laugh, tap your feet, and nod in agreement as you realise how much they apply to your own life. Everyone has had a moment when they feel like their life is rubbish, the education they got into debt for was wasted, and a moment where they've felt 'Well, at least I'm not that guy' and this musical really taps into that excellently. The storyline that ties all the songs together is a very simple tale of pursuing your dreams. I was amazed at what the cast managed to do with a very small stage and set . The set was essentially a row of three narrow houses, but with a bit of ingenuity, some clever lighting and a few concealed compartments they really gave the space life, allowing it to be either Avenue Q itself, 5th Avenue below the Empire State building, and even a hospital ward. The cast were fantastic, with many of them taking on multiple roles, some at times doing two roles at the same time . Take Katharine Moraz for example, who played both Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut. Although at times she handed over physical control of one or other of the characters to Daniella Gibb , whose control of movement and vivid facial and bodily expressions were equally skilled, she often had to perform a dialogue between both characters, with a different tone of voice and pace of speech for each. I loved that each character had a distinct personality, that seemed to carry over into the actor or actress controlling them at the time . Lucy the Slut for example has an exaggerated sexy movement that carried over to both actresses, with much seductive hip swinging. Even the subtlest movement, be it a gulp to control tears, a gasp of surprise, or a frustrated sigh, was always shown in duplicate, with the actors and the characters they controlled moving in perfect time. I can't imagine how much hard work must go in to performing in this kind of role, especially with some characters requiring two actors to operate, who skipped across the stage in perfect harmony as though they shared the same brain . Not to mention physical fitness , with actors being on the stage itself one second and on the second tier of the set the next. Stand out performance of the night for me was Jonny Fines, who played (as far as I could keep track) Trekkie, Nicky, and one the the Bad Idea Bears. His performance of 'If You Were Gay was wonderful, with a great comical fluidity of movement (assisted by Daniella Gibb). His facial expressions were perfectly mirrored with the character, and there were some fantastic dance moves that had the entire audience in stitches. With that said, my favourite character of the show has to be Rod, whose battle with his own sexuality was comical whilst still managing to portray the more serious issues of dealing with denial and learning to feel comfortable in your own skin. I found it hard to believe that this was Luke Striffler's first time on stage as Brian. There was one very small stumble over delivery of a line, but recovery was so fast that it was barely noticed. As one of only three cast members not directly in control of a puppet character, he could have easily been overlooked but had a fantastic stage presence and a beaming smile that seemed to fill the theatre. Additionally Julie Yammanee did a wonderful turn as Christmas Eve, a stereotypical asian-american (NOT an Oriental) role complete with chicken flied lice accent, and Kayi Ushe as Gary Coleman was hilarious, doing some utterly believable impersonations despite being several feet too tall. The main point that made this so very enjoyable though was the obvious joy the actors took in performing their role. There were huge smiles on all their faces and an obvious passion in their eyes as they danced and sang across the stage, effortlessly carrying off an American accent whilst doing so. Overall, I had a fantastic night. I clapped until my hands were sore, laughed until I almost wet myself, and still managed to find time in there somewhere for a tear or two . I identified with and believed in each and every character in some way, and whilst it might suck to be some of the characters, it certainly didn't to be part of the audience.

      Comments

      Login or register to add comments
      • More +
        30.05.2010 19:06
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        1 Comment

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        An absolutely brilliant musical, I would recommend it to everyone.

        I first saw Avenue Q (now showing at London's Wyndham's Theatre, beside Leicester Square tube) a little over three years ago, and saw it for the second time last night, and both times were without a doubt two of the funniest nights in my life! Avenue Q tells the story of a group of people living on New York's fictional "Avenue Q". There is a couple in their thirties (American Brian and his Japanese wife Christmas Eve), housemates Rod and Nicky (whose characters bear a strong resemblance to those of Bert and Ernie), a young, idealistic montessori teacher called Kate Monster, and another (completely porn-obsessed) monster, Trekkie Monster (reminiscent of Sesame Street's Cookie Monster), a recent university graduate name Princeton who is new to Avenue Q, and the late Gary Coleman, portrayed as having fallen from child stardom to become a handyman. All except Brian, Christmas Eve and Gary Coleman are puppets (the puppeteering is fantastic!). The show pokes fun at all the not-so-nice things that surround us in our daily lives - bills to pay, failing in life after graduating, racism, homophobic attitudes, the widespread availability of porn on the internet, and most of all, doing stupid things inspired by the "bad idea bears", two adorable little bears who try to persuade Princeton and Kate Monster to do very silly things - much like that unsavoury part of your conscience you sometimes wish didn't exist. Avenue Q is witty, somewhat true to life and, most importantly, a fantastic musical. The songs are great and the actors are all stunning. It hadn't lost its touch the second time I saw it, and I would gladly watch it again tonight. All in all, a hilariously funny, absolutely fantastic musical. Not suitable for children due to strong language and puppet sex! Thanks for reading. This review is also published on ciao.co.uk under the same username.

        Comments

        Login or register to add comments
        • More +
          18.02.2010 10:28
          Very helpful
          (Rating)
          4 Comments

          Advantages

          Disadvantages

          I would recommend this to anyone, a very good show.

          Last night we went to see Avenue Q. I had heard some very good reports from friends. And people that had returned a number of times to see it. I also had a few friends that were surprised we were going. We normally go to see the more 'traditional' musicals in London and elsewhere. We really enjoyed the performance, but I wouldn't go again. One friend had seen in 4 times in a 6 month period. There are some musicals (Lion King, Cats and Lord of the Rings) that I would go again. The musical is based on a street called Avenue Q and centred around the characters that live there. CHARACTERS There are 3 human characters, an actor portraying Gary Coleman from the 1980s TV programme 'Different Strokes', who is the handyman and landlord for a couple of the houses. Brian and Christmas Eve are an angaged couple that live in another house. The puppets were truely amazing. It must takes years of practice to get the skills that those puppeteers have. The puppets include Priceton, who is looking for a job, and meaning in his life. Kate Monster who falls in love with Princeton and wants to set up a school for montsters. Trekkie Monster (who is similar to cookie monster), Lucy the slut and Nicky and Rod (friends who live together). I wasn't sure how it would work with the puppeteers on stage. But they are dressed in black and you tend to stay focused on the actions of the puppets. There is so much happening on stage all the time. The puppeteers mirror the actions and facial expressions of the puppets and the way they can change their voices for the different characters was fascinating. The music and songs were funny and entertaining. Although in some parts it was difficult to understand what they were saying. Because you could not lip read the person. On some occasions a puppet would sing / talk and the human singing would be the other side of the stage. We got our tickets for £20 from See tickets. The performance was 2 hours long and the theatre is fairly small in comparison to some others in London. In summary I would recommend this musical to people, although be prepared for some non PC comments and songs, and some vulgar parts. The theatre was full of younger people, than the traditional 'theatre goers'.

          Comments

          Login or register to add comments
          • More +
            07.01.2009 20:52
            Very helpful
            (Rating)
            9 Comments

            Advantages

            Disadvantages

            If there's an Avenue more worth walking down than Avenue Q, I'm yet to find it.

            Over the three years of the show's run, everyone I know who has been to see "Avenue Q" has told me that I should go and see it because I would love it. Everyone from best friends to ex-girlfriends were telling me the same thing, so when I got the chance to check it out, I couldn't turn it down. It certainly says something for the show that of the people I went with, four of them had seen it before and were still willing to pay £20 to see it again. It is testament to how well people know me that I not only enjoyed the show, but also would happily pay my £20 and go again. Surprisingly, for all the hype, the basic idea is a simple one. "Avenue Q" is a snap shot into the lives of a group of 20- and 30-somethings who live on a section of a street called Avenue Q. They have their own struggles, many of them have no money, their jobs and lives aren't generally going well and their landlord is 1980s child TV star Gary Coleman. What makes "Avenue Q" a little different from the norm is that the majority of the cast are in fact puppets. It makes the whole thing feel a lot like "Friends" meets "Sesame Street", only with more singing and swearing than both put together. Looking for a cheap place to live after recently graduating from college, Princeton arrives in Avenue Q, where he finds just what he's looking for. Finding a place to live, he meets the neighbours who are also struggling with their lives; Brian is an unemployed comedian whose fiancée Christmas Eve is a therapist with no clients and Gary Coleman is based on the child actor, who worries he is past his peak and will never have another shot at fame. There are also Nicky and Rod, two flatmates, the latter of whom is a closet homosexual with secret desires for the former. Other characters he meets include the internet porn addicted Trekkie Monster and Lucy T. Slut, who is a sometime singer and full time exactly what her name would suggest. Princeton quickly starts a relationship with Kate Monster, but soon finds himself unemployed and struggling to figure out what his purpose in life is. After a night together, which results in Kate losing her job, Princeton gets cold feet at Brian and Christmas Eve's wedding and he and Kate split up. Things aren't going well for some of the others, either, after Nicky outs Rod, who throws him out of their flat and after staying with pretty much everyone on the block; Nicky ends up with nowhere to go. Still, on the plus side, Gary Coleman seems relatively happy for a change, even if that is only because he delights in Nicky's misery. Kate isn't entirely happy either, as she misses Princeton and, like him, she ends up unemployed. But in life, hope isn't always gone and things can get turned around sometimes. It's a simple story and not terribly original, but the beauty of it is that most of the cast are played by puppets. In the whole cast, there are only three human characters; Gary Coleman, Brian and Christmas Eve, with all the rest being puppets. If you've ever seen "Sesame Street", you may find you recognise some of them, with Trekkie Monster being very similar in many ways to Cookie Monster and Rod and Nicky taking the place of Bert and Ernie. This is where the similarity ends, though, as "Sesame Street" was never like this. Although the backdrop is largely very simple, being little more than the frontage of Avenue Q itself, there's plenty happening on stage. Much of the show has the characters interacting with each other and so it's very rare that there is only a single character on stage at any given point. Although many of the songs have solo sections, very few of them are genuine soloist songs, so even during those sequences you have multiple characters on stage at once, often in different places that require you to always keep an eye on what's happening. Added to this with only three of the cast being human, for every other character there is at least one puppeteer on stage, so it's a show you really can't take your eyes off for a second. The puppeteers themselves are dressed in a drab grey, whilst the puppets are dressed in brighter colours and the human characters are even more brightly dressed; Christmas Eve's kimonos are always eye catching, as are Brian's shirts and Gary Coleman is usually wearing a bright baseball cap or a bright t-shirt under his overalls. This means you're never unsure of who the main characters are and it's quite often easy to forget about the puppeteers, although because they augment things with facial expressions that the puppets themselves aren't capable of, they're worth keeping an eye on. However, because some of the puppeteers voice more than one character, it can get a little distracting when you happen to catch one puppeteer's mouth moving when a puppet over the other side of the stage is the one singing. To be fair, that only happened to me a couple of times in a two-hour show, so it's not a major issue. The performances are spot on, although admittedly the puppets aren't exactly responsible for their own actions. But the puppeteers have clearly been doing the job for a while and none of them missed a step, even in some of the trickier sequences such as when Rod or Trekkie Monster, who are controlled by two puppeteers working in tandem at some points, are moving quite quickly around the stage. But the singing is also note perfect, with special mention needing to be made of Julie Atherton, who has the job of voicing both Kate Monster and Lucy T. Slut and does so wonderfully, despite their two voices being completely different. The same goes for Mark Goldthorp who has a similar task with voices ranging from the deep growl of Trekkie Monster, through the very Ernie sounding Nicky, to the high-pitched squeak of one of the Bad Idea Bears. I was also highly impressed with Joanna Ampil, whose high-pitched pidgin Japanese-English is so consistently present, even in her singing voice, that I ended up wondering if she always talks that way. The amusement value increases with the irony that Edward Baruwa, playing a character based on the diminutive Gary Coleman, is actually one of the taller members of the cast. Of course, being a musical, even if all these things are perfect, the show wouldn't survive if the songs weren't any good. Fortunately, this is one of the real strengths of the "Avenue Q". Musically, there's not really anything new here, with the songs being fairly typical of what you would expect from a West End musical. They range from the upbeat "Avenue Q Theme" and "For Now", which open and close the show, through the jazzy and smooth "Special" to the big ballad-type numbers like "Fantasies Come True" and "There's a Fine, Fine Line". That said, if you were looking for something different, there are plenty of musicals around now based on rock and pop acts, so there's always "Mamma Mia" or "We Will Rock You" if you're just looking for a musical experience. "Avenue Q" isn't aiming at people who want to see any old musical, as it claims to be the show for people who hate musicals. The basis of its appeal is not the music, but the songs themselves and in particular, the lyrics. Where else are you going to find a show with song titles like "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist", "It Sucks to be Me", "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today", "The Internet is for Porn" and, possibly the finest song title anywhere, ever, "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love)"? There are no tunes that you're going to be humming for weeks afterwards like in some shows, but there are lyrics that will stick in your memory and be making you laugh for ages. The first thing I did when I got home after the show was put the Original Cast Recording on my Amazon Wishlist, purely because I wanted to hear some of them again. Admittedly, there's a chance that some of the lyrics here may offend some people, especially if you're a New York taxi driver. However, if you can just relax and see the humour in them, as suggested in "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist", they're generally a lot of fun. Those who are offended by swearing may not be overly impressed either, but for someone like me who enjoyed the fact that the first swear word comes from a kindergarten teacher, that only adds to the fun. As it's more my kind of thing, I enjoyed the more upbeat songs a lot more, with my favourite being the up-tempo "Schadenfreude", largely because it was a fun song, but it's also one of my favourite words. "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" reminds me of They Might Be Giants' "Your Racist Friends", in that it's an unexpectedly light and peppy given the subject, much like Spamalot's "He's Not Dead Yet". Trekkie Monster's big moment on "The Internet is for Porn" is a lot of fun as well, as it explains why you rarely see the character as well as cutting straight to the truth of what the internet largely consists of. "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love)" is accompanied by the only sex scene I remember seeing involving puppets outside the film "Team America" and it's actually funnier here than it was there, purely because it's accompanied by this song. Generally, the slower songs are less amusing and I enjoyed them a little less as a result, so things like "Mix Tape" and "Fantasies Come True" were never going to be my favourites. That's not to say that the slower songs are completely without merit, as there are some fun lines in "I Wish I Could go Back to College" and "The More You Ruv Someone". Although my personal favourite lyric, or at least the favourite one I could quote here, was Rod's description of his imaginary girlfriend as "She cooks like my mother / And sucks like a Hoover" on "My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada" I went to see "Avenue Q" without really knowing what to expect, except that people who knew me well thought I would enjoy it. As I said at the start, I left wishing I could turn around and go and see it again. It's a simple idea and, musically speaking at least, it's a fairly simple musical. But the puppets and the songs make it a novel way of presenting old ideas and it's these aspects that make the show as much fun as it is. You may not walk away singing any of the songs, but you will walk away talking about some of the things you've seen and it's not a show that will disappear from memory quickly. Unfortunately, it is a show that is due to disappear from the Noel Coward Theatre soon, with the run due to end on March 29th, 2009. There are rumours of a tour to follow this, however, so if you can't get to see it in London before it closes, I would thoroughly recommend keeping an eye out for information in your local area, as this is a show not to be missed if you get the chance. If you're not easily offended and can handle a little swearing and some non-PC jokes, especially if you're of an age where the thought of "Sesame Street" brings back memories, you must see this show, at least once. Although, I suspect you may end up wanting to see it again, like I hope to and like several of my friends already have. There aren't a lot of things in this world worth paying for twice, but "Avenue Q" is certainly one of them.

            Comments

            Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              13.09.2008 13:57

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Avenue Q- brilliant!

              Finally went to see Avenue Q after 2 years of saying i will. If your not familiar, the play tells the story of the main characters who live on avenue q using seasme street puppets. Characters include "Lucy the slut", Investment banker Rod, and Trekkie Monster. We saw Avenue Q at the Noel Coward Theatre in London. We bought our brilliant tickets off lastminute.com- we paid £17.50 each. Our seats had a fantastic view and were situated on the Royal Circle balcony. The show started on time- and it was a great 2 and a half hours (with a 15 minute recession). I don`t really want to say much as i don`t want to spoil it, however the cast were superb, the music and set were fab. If you like comdies such as Father Ted, Catherine Tate Show, Little Britain etc you will enjoy Avenue Q. At the recession, the theatre were selling tiny Haagen Dazs tub for £4! Everyone was flocking- so i recommend you to bring drinks and food unless you want to pay extortionate fees. I noticed some people in the audience had brought their kids along- Avenue Q is funny but its has mature, adult themes and so i wouldn`t bring anyone under 18 to see it, but then that is my opinion. I would definetly recommend anyone with a sense of humour to see Avenue Q- funniest comedy of the year!

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              02.09.2008 00:02
              Very helpful
              (Rating)

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              must see show

              I saw this after having bought tickets on the internet and my boyfriend (works in theatre) wanted to go, so I tagged along with him and his friend, them both convincing me that I would enjoy it! I wasn't really sure what to expect, I'd seen the posters in the tube stations of puppets - kind of like the muppets style but this is all I had to go on when walking in the theatre. We had excellent seats, being on the very front row. I think for this show it is worth trying to sit as near to the front as possible to see the actors facial expressions as they do play quite a large roll in the show. The puppets are all on stage with their 'handler' which I found a bit odd at first but it works well and their expressions and mannerisms really adds another dimension to the puppet. There aren't many characters within the show - may be 8 or 10 maximum but due to this each one is unique and you really get a feel for them and are able to understand them. The story line is very good and keeps you interested and the songs just add to it containing funny lyrics and make you sing along after - we've even bought the soundtrack. The storyline (I don't want to give it away) but it contains something that everyone can relate to which is what's really nice. The language and plot are quite adult content, I would say that some teenagers would be ok to watch this and others wouldn't it would depend on their maturity and their parents view!!! I really enjoyed the show, it's funny, catchy and different. It would be good to go and see in quite a large group of friends and is suitable for both males and females.

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments
            • More +
              25.08.2006 07:57
              Very helpful
              (Rating)
              5 Comments

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Finally a musical for people who hate musicals, that musical lovers will also love!

              If the new reality show "How do you Solve a Problem like Maria?" throws you into fits of horror by combining musical mogul, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and an old (albeit, classic) musical like "Sound of Music" then perhaps you'll be happy to know that there's a new musical on stage in London today that you might actually enjoy. It's called "Avenue Q" and has been especially written for people who hate musicals. If, on the other hand, you love musicals (like I do), don't let this put you off – this is still a musical, and a pretty damned good one at that. But just what is "Avenue Q" all about? Certainly from its title one can't really assume anything about this musical, besides that it probably takes place on an avenue named 'Q'. As far as that's concerned, that would be correct, but that is the tip of the iceberg here. This is the story of a young college graduate, Princeton, who is ready to start to find his way in life in New York. The first flat he rents is on… you guessed it, Avenue Q, which comes with a very varied group of – atypically – friendly New York neighbours. But not all the people on the block are human and perhaps that explains some of their unusual warmth. No, these non-humans aren't aliens trying to take over the world with their unusually affable behaviour. They are puppets – much like you'd see on Sesame Street. In fact, the creators of this musical tried to get real Muppets to be part of this production but were turned down. Why? Probably because this musical has been described as "Sesame Street meets South Park" – so I think you can understand why Jim Henson's studios didn't want their characters associated with this production. Of course, "South Park" is a cartoon – but a fairly 'rough & racy' one, and it's in this respect where this musical turns away from being one for young children and into one for a more mature audience. And with Princeton being a puppet – along with several others, but not all of the other characters – that’s how it combines with “Sesame Street”, by having the humans and puppets together. Where this differs from “Sesame Street” is in that we see the actors behind the puppets – they actually carry the puppets around the stage, and at times, one actor may be speaking (or singing) the voice of more than one puppet in the scene. While this may seem a touch disconcerting on paper, in truth it works quite well, once you get used to it. Especially since the puppet-masters are able to give us the extra facial expressions that the puppets can’t – so it’s worth watching both the puppets as well as the actors inside/behind them. The characters here really are a plethora of interesting people and puppets. Aside from Princeton, our hero who is looking for an occupation, there’s Kate Monster – another puppet who is a teacher, and who becomes Princeton’s romantic interest. Of course, as her name suggests, she is a “monster”. We also have another monster – Trekkie Monster, who will tell you that “the Internet is for Porn”, and that’s basically his occupation – on-line porn. The other puppets are Lucy the Slut (do I need to expand on this?), Mrs. Thistletwat (Kate’s boss at the school), and Nicky who lives with and mooches off his best (platonic) friend and roommate Rod, the Investment Banker, who is a closet homosexual. The humans here are Brian – the wannabe comedian who is living with and engaged to Japanese immigrant, Christmas Eve who is a therapist with no clients. Finally, there’s the very human Avenue Q’s handyman, Gary Coleman – and we’re talking about the same Gary Coleman from the 20+ year-old TV show “Different Strokes” who became a has-been practically as soon as the show was taken off the air (those who remember this show will recall that Coleman was famous for his line “what chew talkin’ about, Willis”. Of course, the real actor Gary Coleman doesn’t play himself, but I think you get the picture). So that’s the basic background. But what’s a musical without music? I’m glad to say that the music here finds a happy medium between childishly fun and adult up beat, on the jazzy side. The numbers here aren’t huge productions, but they’re all catchy, honest and heartfelt without any sweaty take-your-breath-away dancing. That’s not to say these songs won’t get you excited, because they absolutely will – but with their humour! Honestly, how could you not laugh at a song called “It Sucks to be Me” or “If You Were Gay”? What these songs do is take real-life concepts and observances, and relates them in a comic way – without ever becoming condescending and while remaining simplistic. And, as all good comedy contains enough reality to make it ring true, its no surprise that you’ll find yourself laughing out loud at almost every twist and turn of the story. But this isn’t all laughs, and nor would it be successful if it was – since any good show needs to get you to feel for the characters, and this story pulls us in so that we feel the puppets are really alive, and we empathize with their difficulties as well as laugh at their foibles. And yet, there’s nothing over-the-top slapstick – despite some of the more raunchy humour and dirty bits – and you might just find yourself with tears running down your smiling cheeks. As for the more heartfelt bits, there’s nothing overly sentimental or saccharine, even as we practically fall in love with the whole company. Lastly, I can’t tell you that you’ll be humming each and every song as you leave the theatre. However, you certainly will remember most of them and many of the more silly lyrics will stick in your mind for quite some time afterwards. As for the performances – well, the cast seems to work together seamlessly, with excellent interactions and what appears to be utter enjoyment of every minute. While Princeton and Kate Monster are the stars, none of the rest of the cast ride on their coattails and everyone seems to pull their full weight. Moreover, the acting and singing by the full cast are evenly matched and professionally executed, without anyone seeming the least bombastic or sounding operatic. I think you can understand from this review that I found this musical to be a total delight – even if it is a bit wicked at times (yes, there’s a sex scene, but hey, how turned on would you get watching two puppets get it on?). But despite the puppets, this isn’t a kid’s show and disclaimers claim that ‘parental guidance’ is advised for those under 12. Happily my 13-year-old daughter wasn’t put off or insulted by any of it (and yes, she got all the jokes as well), so I think they know what they’re talking about with this. Would I say that this is ‘good clean family fun’? Well, only if you’ve got a family with a good sense of humour and with kids old enough to appreciate it. If that’s not the case, go for “Mary Poppins” or “The Lion King”. However, if that does describe you, I’d wholeheartedly recommend you find time to see “Avenue Q” as soon as possible – it’s a real winner and let’s hope that contrary to the song, this isn’t “only for now”! Thanks for reading! Davida Chazan © August, 2006 ~~~~~ Technical Stuff: The official web page for the London production of this musical can be found at http://www.avenueqthemusical.co.uk/ where you can sample some of the songs and read about the cast, producers and more. The US site can be found at www.avenueq.com and on both sites you’ll see that Avenue Q won the 2004 Tony Award© for Best New Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. While we went directly to the Noël Coward theatre to buy our tickets (which were the least expensive we could get for the early show, costing £17.50 per balcony seat) you can also buy them on-line directly from the above site for a bit more (balcony seats from £19.00 which includes a booking fee), or through www.ticketmaster.co.uk, or through calling 0870-850-1975 or 0870-402-0174. ~~~~~

              Comments

              Login or register to add comments