Naughty Puppets Delight!

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing Avenue Q at the NAC (thanks for the tickets Live 88.5!). Avenue Q is a hilariously raucous satire of all the useless things you were taught while growing up. The show features a group of naughty puppets that are residents of Avenue Q, which is kind of like the decrepit version of Sesame Street. The newest tenant is Princeton, who arrives in the Big City full of dreams and ambition. Unfortunately, Princeton has only a useless Arts degree and, therefore, no marketable skills (this sounds familiar). He soon finds himself amongst the many other puppets and people searching for their purpose in life.

I don’t want to say too much about the show because I would hate to spoil the jokes, but Avenue Q is one of the funnest nights you will have at the theatre. Joining Princeton are other daytime TV rejects like The Bad Idea Bears, Lucy the Slut, and Trekkie Monster, who is the resident porn enthusiast on Avenue Q. All the puppets are played with their actors onstage, and there are also human characters including Christmas Eve, the Japanese neighbor who could only work in Chinese restaurants until she got herself two Master’s degrees. Additionally, the super of the Avenue Q townhouses is none other than child star Gary Coleman. Gary Coleman is an original character in the show’s production, but his posthumous inclusion gives a “too soon” factor that adds to the audacity of Avenue Q.

The naughty puppets spout all kinds of obscenities and blunt facts, but they are all extremely clever and frankly honest. Some of the musical highlights include “It Sucks to be Me”, “The Internet is for Porn”, and my favorite, “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.” Avenue Q also lampoons the early lessons of Sesame Street by including media bits in the show – the image/word association game to teach us about one-night stands is particularly witty. The show also features the most hardcore puppet sex since Team America: World Police.

Avenue Q isn’t for kids, nor would I take recommend taking your grandparents. Avenue Q is probably best for younger people because it’s relevant to them. But I think most people would enjoy Avenue Q simply because everyone’s anxious about finding their purpose, and the puppets say what a lot of other shows are too afraid to and they get away with it because… well, they’re just a bunch of f***ing silly puppets.