Avenue Q is not your run of the mill ‘puppet show’; this show purposefully plays off our knowledge of educational and entertaining children’s shows, like Sesame Street. Where as children we wouldn’t realise we were learning when we watched our favourite Muppets sing about numbers.
However, as adults the time of being taught life lessons from singing and dancing Muppets has long gone. Or has it? Avenue Q seeks to bridge that gap. It aims to present the common dilemmas and struggles faced by all college graduates today in a fun and easy mock-educational musical.
“There are so many lessons that you need to learn when you’re an adult. But, no way to learn them, but if you could have some sort of Sesame Street style song to teach you a lesson, well that would be really nice, and that’s what this show does.”
The story follows recent college graduate Princeton, who realises that he has no idea what to do next. He soon discovers life doesn’t always go how we expect it to. Having to learn to navigate the dark waters of adulthood fast, because he can’t afford the rent in Avenue A, so has to settle for a block of run down flats in an outer-outer borough of New York, Avenue Q. There he meets the other tenants, who are all facing their own struggles.
“The themes touch on things that are relevant to all ages… Except for little kids, please don’t bring your little kids.”
Whilst preparing for the show the puppeteers were put through ‘puppet boot camp’, with renowned puppeteer Kevin Noonchester, who is a veteran of Avenue Q. This happened six weeks before their first rehearsals allowing them time to get the skills under their belt and get used to handling the puppets, which can be quite difficult.
“Doing eight things at once, trying to get your legs to move in the right way, and your head, and your hands, and your voice… [Especially when] voicing a puppet that you’re not actually handling can be very difficult. That’s probably the hardest part I reckon.”
Since the shows inception in 2003 it has won many awards. Whilst on Off-Broadway in early 2003 it won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and Outstanding Sound Design. However, after transitioning to Broadway, the show was nominated for six Tony Awards, and won three including: Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Original Book.
“It’s really nice to pass on stories to people, and people can walk away from the theatre and think about something in their life a little differently then that’s brilliant to me.”
Avenue Q is made up of a wonderfully talented cast, who are incredibly passionate about the show, which means it’s sure to be a hit with audiences here.
Avenue Q is only doing an extremely limited run in Perth from November 26 to December 10 2016, so don’t miss out, limited tickets are available from Ticketmaster.
If you fancy a laugh, please read our full interview transcript here, it is without a doubt the most fun I’ve ever had in an interview.
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