Venturing into adulthood is not fun at all – especially when you’re fresh out of school with your B.A. in English. What do you do with that overpriced piece of paper? Well, you can chuck it to the back of your closet and become a freelance writer like me, or you can move into a small apartment on Avenue Q and search for a real job, like Princeton (Brady VanVaerenbergh). Either way you look at it, it sucks to be you.
Created by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, Avenue Q is an award-winning Off-Broadway musical that seems to have no intention of slowing down. This side-splitting coming-of-age story tells the truth about growing up, using fuzzy little puppets that look like they are from your childhood programs – until they open their mouths.
The cast (Brady VanVaerenbergh, Alexandra Reed, Stephen Amon, Shannon Dickens Mark Willett, Phoebe Hu and Uche Ama) spikes up the energy to an all-time high and grabs the audience right off the bat. Character voices are incredible and the actors remain flawlessly focused, switching naturally from puppet to puppet.
The puppeteers do not only control the puppets, but they are extensions of the puppets, adding larger gestures and crazier expressions to the warped Sesame Street-esque world of absurdity created by Puppet Designer Andy Hayward and Set Designer Michael Galloro.
Avenue Q throws you in limbo between childhood and adulthood and has you straddling the line between the two. It takes childhood innocence and pollutes it in an uproarious fashion.
We are always learning. And like children’s programming, Avenue Q teaches valuable life lessons that you can sing along to. Get ready to jam out to songs like “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “The Internet is for Porn.”
Childhood counting games become risqué. Friendly neighbours become perverts. Everyone is greedy for love, greedy for money and just plain obscene. Avenue Q accuses your parents of lying to you. They made you that bright-eyed dreamer that you are. It’s all their fault you can’t handle being a grown-up.
Avenue Q is a hodgepodge of hilarity: singing monsters, puppet sex and terrible jokes that we probably shouldn’t be laughing at – but we just can’t help it. It is incredibly vulgar, unquestionably hilarious and a little bit too true.
Avenue Q, directed by Seanna Kennedy, is playing at the Lower Ossington Theatre until Dec. 14. For tickets, visit http://tickets.ticketwise.ca/event/3851692.