AFTER arriving in the West End in 2006 following four sell-out years on Broadway, Avenue Q has wowed audiences every time it has toured.
The shows creators Jeff Marx and Bobby Lopez spent a decade trying to get producers interested in ‘Sesame Street for adults’. After all on paper a social commentary musical performed by a mix of puppets and humans with more than a touch of filth, plus jokes about racism and suicide doesn’t exactly look like box office magic.
The creators’ unique selling point was that cuddly puppets could get away with being cruder and more politically incorrect than humans and so it proved.
This new Selladoor and Showtime production directed and choreographed by Cressida Carré, who has an impressive history of award-winning shows takes this production to new levels of performance, staging and yes – naughtiness.
The sex scene between Kate Monster and fresh out-of-college, Princeton must contain more positions than the Kama Sutra encyclopedia.
Performed and sung to the outrageous “You Can Be As Loud As You Like (When You’re Makin’ Love)” by Cecily Redman and Lawrence Smith – both just spot on brilliant.
This is a top-notch, high-energy company who are all wonderful exponents of their craft.
Tom Steedon is an outrageous Trekkie Monster who doubles with Megan Armstrong as the Bad idea Bears.
Armstrong also brings the right amount of snobbiness to schoolmarm Mrs. T. Saori Oda sparkles as the oriental Christmas Eve,
Oliver Stanley a nicely laid-back Brian and Nicholas Mclean the narrative adhesive that links it all together – janitor come landlord Gary Coleman.
With such classic numbers as ‘The Internet Is For Porn’ ‘It Sucks To be Me’ and the ever poignant ‘There’s A Fine, Fine Line’, Musical Director Alex Bellamy underpins the story seamlessly.
Avenue Q as a story is surprisingly emotional and amazingly we can identify with a puppet – who’d have thought it?
With a production this fresh and a cast so strong I guarantee this production will undoubtedly wow audiences up and down the country on its six month tour – you can enjoy it in Birmingham all this week – until Saturday, February 16 – at the Alexandra Theatre.
Performances take place at 7.30pm on Thursday and Saturday, 8.30pm on Friday and matinees at 5pm on Friday and 2.30pm on Saturday.
Visit https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/avenue-q/alexandra-theatre-birmingham/ for tickets and more information.
Review by Euan Rose