Curtain Call Caryn Aasness (Puppeteer) Dennis Dyck (Nicky) Kieara Williams (Gary Coleman)

Published on October 23rd, 2013 | by Zamná Ávila

0

Avenue Q: Message within Joke

By John Farrell, Curtain Call Writer

If you don’t get the fun in Avenue Q, then you probably haven’t seen television for about 40 years or so.

But if you are of the generation that was reared on Sesame Street or reared children or grandchildren on Miss Piggy (she has to be mentioned first, it’s in her contract), on Kermit the Frog, Elmo and the Cookie Monster, then you’ll understand all the jokes.

And, unless you are one of those very few who don’t love puppets and muppets (and who don’t remember Gary Coleman at all, you’ll love Avenue Q, either because you’ve always wondered what life on another street in that same imaginary New York was really like, or (for the mean-spirited) because you’ve had a secret hankering to see those characters brought down to real-life, sex and housing problems and all.

This story is about the real life the characters face, not the magical life that Sesame Street suggested.

Avenue Q isn’t real life, either, of course. As it was on Broadway, where it remains one of the longest-running shows, those puppets are played by real actors: sometimes it takes two performers to manipulate the puppets: one to carry the body and voice the puppet, another to manipulate the hands. And, just in case you are worried, there are actors who play themselves: this is a world where humans and sort-of-humans interact, where Gary Coleman (yes, that Gary Coleman, played with convincing conviction by Kieara Williams in full building superintendent garb) is part of the very rich and politically correct mix.

Avenue Q takes place in a Brooklyn neighborhood many blocks away from Sesame Street, but still in the same city and with the same values, adults versions of those values, but still a place where everyone is respected and everyone gets along (for the most part).

It’s a cheaper neighborhood, with apartments with low-rent. Coleman is in charge of rentals. Princeton (played by puppeteer Andrew Manzani) moves into a cheap apartment there, and soon finds love with Kate Monster (puppeteer Angela Griswold). He meets Nicky (puppeteer Dennis Dyck) and Rod (puppeteer Matt DeNoto), the would-be Gay couple who can’t quite admit they love each other.

He meets a human couple as well, the delightfully hen-pecked Nicholas Woodall and the loving but exacting Christmas Eve (Sawami Shinohara).

Madison Mooney is Lucy the Slut, who provides much of the sexual distraction Princeton finds before he settles down. She is only a torso, but what a torso, and Mooney provides the swinging hips and attitude that survives even when Lucy’s head is torn off and then restored. The play ends with Trekkie Monster (Brian Bozanich) saving the whole community with the $10 million he has made from Internet porn.

The show was conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. They wrote the music and lyrics and the book is by Jeff Whitty. Directed by the Playhouse’s Artistic Director Andrew Vonderschmitt, it’s a lively and amusing look at another side of life, real life with real problems, even if these problems are sung about and faced cheerily.

Avenue Q is delightful, full of fun and just enough message to make it more than just an in joke. It is not, however, for children. The puppets get naked and have sex on stage and everyone sings “The Internet is for Porn” with appropriate gestures. Children under some age are probably not ready for this (although you never know).

Tickets are $24, $21 for seniors, $14 for students. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. through November 16.

Details: (562) 494-1014www.lbplayhouse.org
Venue: Long Beach Playhouse Studio Theater
Location:5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author



Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑
  • Like Us On Facebook!

  • Official RLn Twitter


  • The Guide to Fine Dining

    The Guide to Fine Dining
  • Calendar

    July 2015
    S M T W T F S
    28

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunitySeal Day 2015

    Category: CommunitySummer Concerts by the Sea

    Category: ArtIn the Garden, Art & Music Fair

    Category: CommunitySenior Comedy Afternoons

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: EntertainmentSummer Concert Series

    Category: EntertainmentA Salute to Santana

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    29

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    30

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    1

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunitySan Pedro Kiwanis Club

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    2

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunityFarmer’s Market

    Category: Community7th Annual Cars And Stripes Forever

    Category: ArtFirst Thursday Artwalk

    Category: CommunityOpen Mic Nite

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    3

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: ArtFirst Thursday Artwalk

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    4

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: Community4th of July Jazz and Blues Festival

    Category: Community4th of July Jazz and Blues Festival

    Category: Art4th of July Extravaganza

    Category: CommunityAll-American 4th of July

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    5

    Category: ArtMOLAA Presents Fantastic Mexico

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunityThe Rebel Reverend

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    6

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    7

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    8

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunitySan Pedro Kiwanis Club

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    9

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: CommunityFarmer’s Market

    Category: CommunityOpen Mic Nite

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    10

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: EntertainmentWATTS50

    11

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    12

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    Category: TheaterThe Heir Apparent

    13

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterCock

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    14

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    15

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    16

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPick of the Vine-Season 13: Private Lives

    17

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    18

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    19

    Category: TheaterTE San Pedro Rep’s Celebration Series

    Category: TheaterPrivate Lives

    20

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    21

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    22

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    23

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    24

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    25
    26 27

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    28

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    29

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    30

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    31

    Category: EntertainmentPiano Nights with Rob Klopfenstein

    Category: TheaterAbigail/1702

    1
  • Take a Trip to Havana

    Take a Trip to Havana
  • Get Home Delivery!

    Get Home Delivery!
  • Join the RLn Network

    Subscribe Today:


    Options


  • Reset The Net: Protect Your Privacy

    Reset The Net: Protect Your Privacy