Ticket Type: Orchestra Viewing Angle: Third Row, far stage right. Price: $49 from half Tkts Location: New World Stages
Avenue Q is unlike any other show currently on Broadway. It plays uses puppet design similar to Jim Henson inspired shows like The Muppets and follows a story with more adult content and songs.
Avenue Q won the Tony for Best Musical in 2004 and deservedly so, but it definitely feels like a show that was great ten years ago and now just seems fun. There are songs and particular scenes that do seem dated, for example the character and jokes relating to Gary Coleman (Danielle K. Thomas) seem irrelevant.
The acting and vocal performances are all quite strong and entertaining, but sightlines end up becoming a problem as the puppeteers unnecessarily get in the way which becomes quite frustrating. The most impressive aspect of the vocal performances in the ability of Michael Liscio (Princton/Rod) and Veronica Kuehn(Kate Monster, Lucy & others) who jump between character voices seamlessly, even when they aren’t controlling their designated puppet. Although the humour seems tame compared to The Book of Mormon, it does push the boundaries of humour with racial stereotypes and a puppet sex-scene.
The set is inventive as it is predominately a dingy New York ally resembling that of Sesame Street, but walls flip out and a wide-range of characters pop out from all nooks and crannies, which adds charm to the show.
It’s great to see an off-Broadway show have such a consistent run, but the show could do with a re-imagining and some script changes so that it seems more relevant for today’s audience.