Avenue Q - Aylesbury Waterside Theatre - ATG Tickets (atgtickets.com)
If you’ve never seen Avenue Q before, be aware that it does
contain nudity and sex...albeit it’s actually the puppets who are seen making
out in an hysterically funny scene that you won’t be able to get out of your
head!  I must have seen this show first
about 10 years ago in the West End and that sight is indelibly etched in my
mind, along with Trekkie Monster’s song
‘The Internet is for Porn’.

So if you think that a show
featuring puppets would be for children, Avenue
is most definitely for adults as it deals with themes about prejudice,
racism, homosexuality and pornography. 
Created by Jeff Mars and Bobby Lopez in the late 90s, their initial idea
was to do a version of Hamlet
featuring Kermit the Frog.  As that wasn’t accepted by Jim Henson, the
pair decided to create their own characters and brought in writer Jeff Whitty
to write the script, which eventually became the book of Avenue Q.

Opened on Broadway in 2003, the
show went on to play over 2500 performances making it one of the longest
running shows on Broadway. In 2004 it won Best Musical, Book and Score at the
Tony Awards.

Originally created as a parody of
Sesame Street, the cast includes 4
puppeteers who operate the puppets, singing and acting visibly, along with 3
human characters.  One of the humans is
called Gary Coleman and is a fictionalized version of the real life actor who
starred in the 1980s sitcom Different
  Coleman died in 2010 aged
42, some years after successfully suing his parents for misrepresenting his
business assets, although he was declared bankrupt a decade later.

The cast all do an excellent job
of working the puppets, acting and singing and I especially liked Cecily Redman's vocals as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut. 

There are some very catchy tunes
including The Avenue Q Theme, It Sucks to
be Me, Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist, There’s a Fine, Fine Line
and the
unforgettable The Internet is For Porn.

 The show is perhaps a bit dated now, as the
world of social media has not touched the lives of all those living in Avenue Q, but maybe that’s a good
thing.  Sometimes if the show works in
its original form, the songs are good and there are plenty of laughs, why try
and keep reinventing it?  Do we really
need to hear political statements in everything that we see now?  I think it’s quite refreshing to get away
from all of that and have an evening of nostalgia and silliness.  Judging by the packed theatre, I think the
show’s popularity will continue for many years and if ‘it ain’t broke then don’t try to fix it!’


Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye