16 September 2011

Avenue Q at the ANU Reviewed

| ArrEmm
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avenue q at the anu arts centre

Sesame Street meets the Muppets meets South Park meets Broadway.

Avenue Q is quite possibly the funniest musical ever produced. It’s a big call, but it’s a big show.

If you’d like a rundown on the story, read here, but the story is second to the hilarious songs, fantastic puppetry, brilliant acting and singing, and overall great production values.

I first saw Avenue Q in the West End, London, and was blown away by the daring and well executed script.

When I was offered a chance to see it performed by Supa Theatre Company at the ANU Arts Centre last night, I immediately thought ‘they’ll never be able to do it justice’. How wrong I was.

The acting, singing, puppetry, choreography, musicianship, stage design, lighting, sound, EVERYTHING was near flawless. I sat with a smile glued to my face for the entire show.

Avenue Q deals with a broad range of taboo themes which are rarely approached in the public domain. With songs entitled ‘If you were gay’, ‘Everyone’s a little bit racist’, and ‘The internet is for porn’, it’s very easy for the cast to turn the show into a juvenile swearing-for-the-sake-of-swearing type of show, but they don’t.

The jokes are well delivered with good timing, and the puppeteer’s faces are always in sync with their puppet which turns crude and tasteless jokes into innocent and acceptable gags.

There is a 6-piece band in a pit bellow the stage who are so tight you don’t even realise that the music is live.

The lighting design is varied and colourful, always suiting the mood. The sound is clear and with a large cast all harmonising, it didn’t get too loud and nothing was overpowering.

This production truly rivalled the London production in all aspects.

Go and see it. Maybe don’t take your grandparents or your young children, but take everyone else. Even if you don’t like musicals, you’ll like this.

Avenue Q runs from 16 September to October 1 at the ANU Arts Centre.

Tickets are $39 adult, $33 concession, groups, members, etc.

Check out http://www.supaproductionsinc.com/ for tickets and more info.

Slideshow of the dress rehearsal below:

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I saw the production on Thursday night. I’ve listened to the soundtrack several times and loved it for its witty and philosophical look at the human condition. We’re all a little bit flawed here and there, but we’re never going to be perfect, might as well make the most of what we have right now, and the best part of ourselves is our community – ourselves reflected in the eyes of those who know us best – and we them.

The production, in the flesh, was a whole new layer of pleasure and excitement on top of my existing knowledge. The acting was charming, the sets and muppet characters clever and inventive, the bits of plot not covered on the soundtrack CD enlightened me. It all worked so well together, and the visual element, especially during the muppet sex scene, had me laughing so hard my cheeks were hurting.

This is a lot more than “Sesame Street grows up and gets dirty”. The sexual aspect was not gratuitious, but rather a crucial part of the story. It’s adult in theme because the characters are adults and they are exploring the deep issues of what it means to grow up. Apart from “Mrs Thistletwat” – a marginal role, none of the characters are over 33, and most are in their twenties, coming to grips with making a life away from the embrace of parents and the education system.

A lot to chew over in the apparently light-hearted lyrics, but still it’s a good evening’s fun. Four star entertainment.

I saw it on Saturday night and it was excellent! The singing is top notch and the cast did a great job with the hilarious songs- especially the PORN guy- awesome!

I saw this last week – great production. It actually felt faster paced than the large stage show, probably because of the more personal feel (ie. smaller audience) and the less time it took to swap from scene to scene. Great singers, very funny show. Go see it if you’re not doing anything tonight.

This show answers the Eternal Question….

“What do you do with a BA in English?”

Oh…and the other Eternal Question…

Just how kinky can Puppet sex be?

Supa_Productions_Inc1:19 pm 16 Sep 11

Tickets are on sale at: https://www.patronbase.com/_CRS/Productions/AQ11/Performances

If you’re interested in Dinner and Show, call Teatro Vivaldi’s on: 6257 2718

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