*Tickets were gifted
The internet is for porn! Did that catch your attention? Well get ready for Avenue Q, the x-rated comedy musical that mixes puppets with adult themes – a grown up Sesame Street if you will.
Dreamed up by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez, the latter(day) who also co-created The Book of Mormon, it’s as expected, an absolute romp. Ready to shock and entertain all at once.
A wonderfully weird world
Freshly graduated Princeton, who’s looking for his ‘purpose’, comes across Avenue Q, the friendly, if slightly run down, neighbourhood with a spare apartment to rent. In this imaginative world where humans and monsters live, Princeton meets his new neighbours.
Sitting in the puppet corner we have, unlucky in love school teacher Kate Monster, nice but messy Nicky and his gay republican flat mate Rod as well as porn addict Trekkie Monster.
Across in the human category you’ll meet superintendent Gary Coleman (yes – you read that right), totally Japanese therapist Christmas Eve and her utterly idle boyfriend, Brian.
Making light of life
And on this street everyone has their own problems to deal with from racism to sex ( the humping puppets have burned onto my brain…) and suicide.
For a fictional show this musical does not shy away from reality. But really, what’s the world if we can’t make light of it. These adorable creatures do a hell of a good job of making it funnier. And more pressing on your heart strings.
The songs are sharp, fast and fun. They’re catchy tunes, which is a good job as there’s little dialogue in comparison. The whole vibe on stage is child like, energetic and animated. It’s also a genius touch to include the ‘educational’ videos.
Mastering the puppets
Each actor become extensions of their puppets. They skilfully bring them to life using their voice and physicality. This is crucial as their furry friends are hand operated props with little facial movement.
Lawrence Smith and Cecily Redman are superstars in their leading roles as Princeton/Rod and Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut. Cecily’s dreamy voice is stand out in “There’s a Fine, Fine Line”. The there’s Tom Steedon who steals the show as Trekkie Monster – the biggest, boldest, most obscene character.
It really doesn’t suck to be Avenue Q. This musical is full of life, which is ironic for a show full of puppets. Guaranteed to make you laugh and too good to miss!
Playing at Manchester Palace Theatre until Saturday 26 October. Find more information and tickets here
Love an outrageous comedy musical? Check out my Book of Mormon review