Avenue Q is a grown-up parody of Sesame Street. Rather than learning the alphabet and counting, the Jim Henson-like puppets are dealing with growing up – figuring out how to pay their rent, how to handle a relationship or, in some cases, how to come out of the closet. Avenue Q is playing at the Lower Ossington Theatre until February 4th.
Please be advised that the show is most definitely not for children.
I was very excited to see Avenue Q, as its soundtrack has been floating around on my iPod for a while. I mean, who can resist songs like “The Internet is for Porn” and “What Do You Do With a BA in English?” (An issue I’m currently struggling with).
I think the puppets are a perfect way to deal with the topic. The correlation between the children’s show-appearance and the adult subject matter perfectly represents that state of being stuck between being a kid and being an adult. The puppetry was very well done, and it was not an issue at all to ignore the puppeteers who move on stage with their puppets, as opposed to being masked by any screen. They blended in perfectly – even when they had to do an on-stage trade-off so that people could take over for another character.
The association with childhood is what makes the show funny. Watching the puppets swear, drink, have sex and wind up homeless is quite amusing. There were even a few local jokes, with the cost of metropasses and Rob Ford thrown in for good measure. There was also good use of projections, amping up the Sesame Street vibe.
I do think the show could be a bit tighter, however. Some of the transitions felt rather long, but that will likely be corrected through the run of the show. Also, I know pre-show music is not really what I’m there to review, but they could get more variety, as the same five songs seemed to be on repeat.
Overall Avenue Q is a really funny show that I would highly recommend, particularly if you are in your twenties or thirties. Some of the topics really hit home for that age bracket.
– Avenue Q is playing at the Lower Ossington Theatre (100A Ossington Ave) until February 4th.
– Showtime is 8pm, with shows at 4pm January 22nd and 29th, and a 2pm show on Feburary 4th
– Tickets are $45 for general admission and $60 for premium seating.
– Tickets are available online, at the box office or by calling 416.915.6747.
Photo courtesy of Seanna Kennedy Photography.