We went to see Avenue Q tonight as a special thing to do for Ian's upcoming birthday. The show is a Tony-award winning musical starring people and puppets (much like Sesame Street) in a Sesame Street-type setting. The show was very good; so good that we were sad to see that it hadn't even come close to selling out. The auditorium wasn't even half-full, and this show deserves a full audience.
The musical tells the story of recent college grad Princeton and how he and the other residents of Avenue Q muddle through adulthood, by trying to figure out their purpose, getting a job, having money, figuring out relationships, and all that. There are good times and bad times and by the end, everyone has realized that you have to live your dreams before it's too late. That's a pretty good message, I'd say.
Even though there are puppets in this show and it's sort of like Sesame Street, this is not a show for young children. There are many sexual scenes (including puppet sex) and songs (like "The internet is for porn"). The events and emotions in the show feel very real and that makes up for the explicit scenes because, well, sometimes life is explicit. The mixture of puppets and people makes the show interesting and appeals to people in the same way that kid's tv appeals to kids. The story and story-telling is top-notch, and the singing is awesome.
We were very, very impressed by the lead puppeteer. When he was managing the puppets, we forgot that he was there. He was able to really show expression through these clamshell puppets while he was voicing their lines. The other main puppeteer wasn't quite as good; she was more expressive than the puppet so it seemed like the puppet was part of her and not a separate creature. Her voice was phenomenal, though, and she was able to differentiate her different characters as well as the lead puppeteer.
One thing I loooved was the "Bad Idea Bears" (and I think I'm not the only one who loves them... or the idea of them). They were the ones that suggested people do irresponsible things because it was fun. They could have also been called the "Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time Bears" because that's what the bad ideas often end up being, in my experience. Of course there were lots of other funny things in this show, like the aforementioned "The Internet is for Porn" and "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist".
We recommend this show to everyone. We might especially recommend this show for teens and people just starting to get through life, although if you go with them you'll find it's funny for you, too :) So if you find out that Avenue Q are playing in your area, go see them.