AVENUE Q-UITE FUNNY AND WITTYLast night the Theatre Royal in Sydney was awash with excited audience members all bracing themselves for the opening night of Avenue Q. The mood was high, people seemed optimistically dubious about what the next 90 minutes would involve, no one really had a clue. If I was to give my elevator pitch about this successful Broadway and West End show and tell you in 30 seconds what this colourful production was all about it might look something like this: Take the residents of Avenue Q a fictional street in a downtrodden part of New York City and follow their respective lives and learn a few lessons along the way. You have 7 tenants; an unemployed wannabe comedian and his fiancée, a college graduate sponging off his parents, a Republican investment banker and his slobbish room mate, a kindergarten assistant with a ‘dream’ and a hairy monster addicted to porn. Not forgetting the superintendent who just happens to be former child star Gary Coleman it all sounds ‘relatively’ ordinary. That description would not have you racing to see this show as these seemingly standard characters and their tribulations could just be another slice of life New York tale. But, if you miss this show you WILL regret it.
Avenue Q is a smart and inventive production that involves hand puppets as you’ve never seen them before – don’t be fooled into thinking this is a kids show – it is definitely for adults but those who appreciate honesty and cynicism in equal parts and who don’t embarrass easily about laughing out loud. With outrageous songs that include ‘Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist’, ‘It Sucks To Be Me’ and ‘The Internet Is For Porn’ it all sound controversial enough but these witty tunes are crucial in telling this rather sweet and lovely story. A well constructed storyline offering everyday situations, perhaps familiar in your own life (like the concept of the Bad Idea Bears), will have you laughing and clapping at the sheer brilliance of it all. It seems illogical that the cast be so exceptional that they’re almost forgettable, in that they fade into the background and you find yourself only watching the hand puppets that they bring to life. Mitchell Butel as ‘Rod’ and ‘Princeton’ plays characters so diverse yet both elegantly portrayed, Christina O’Neill as ‘Christmas Eve’ is at serious risk of stealing the show on more than one occasion, Michala Banasas as ‘Kate Monster’ and ‘Lucy T. Slut’ matches Mitchell’s comedic timing and vocal stylings, Luke Joslin as ‘Trekkie Monster’ and ‘Nicky’ is hilarious in both roles. It does at this point seem distinctly unfair to single out 4 cast members of such a small cast when they are all quite simply superb.
If you are saving up to see that one stand-out show for 2009 Avenue Q could quite possibly be it. I would go again and laugh just as much even knowing the upcoming gags, this is a fun, witty and clever show and I loved every moment.
Thanks to Cimone from I.N.C. for covering the show for DanceLife.
I.N.C. Artist Management – Sydney is a boutique Talent Agency that represents Actors, Singers, Dancers and Choreographers across Television, Corporate, Film, Theatre and Musical Theatre within Australia and abroad. With clients numbering fewer than twenty it allows us to provide personal and tailored attention to each artist and equips I.N.C Artist Management – Sydney to guide our clients on a career path specific to their needs. www.internationalcollective.com.au