Winner of the TONY “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, musical comedy, Avenue Q commenced a week-long run at Cardiff’s New Theatre on Monday evening.
Featuring music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx from the book by Jeff Whitty, Avenue Q stars a collective of puppets with larger than life personalities as its hook, operated by human actors.
Set in New York City, the audience meet Princeton, a bright-eyed graduate with big dreams and a tiny bank account. Princeton finds himself in an affordable apartment on Avenue Q where he struggles to find a purpose in life, finding and losing love before finding it again. Along the way he meets friends Brian, an out-of-work comedian, Brian’s therapist fiancée Christmas Eve and a very cute kindergarten teacher, Kate Monster.
An adult-orientated parody of the children’s programme, Sesame Street, Avenue Q is far from the innocent world of its inspirational parent. Highlights included Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his closet gay Republican roommate Rod singing If You were Gay while Internet ‘sexpert’ Trekkie Monster joins Kate in a rendition of The Internet is for Porn..
It’s hard to single one performer out on stage, as each actor voices several characters with performances that blend so well.
While Saori Oda’s over the top characterisations have the audience in the palm of her hands with constant laughter every time she took to the stage, Lawrence Smith displays great definition between his two characters the young Princeton and the uptight Rod.
On the other hand, Tom Steedon projects an on-stage diversity to voice completely different characters from the child-like, Bad idea Bears to the deep vocal tones of Trekkie Monster.
Furry, fun and far from suitable for children (ages suggestion is 14 and over), Avenue Q is ideal for anyone who loves adulted orientated humour and puppets behaving badly. It continues its run at Cardiff’s New Theatre until Saturday.