Monday 18th June 2012
Almost ten years since it's original Off Broadway opening, Avenue Q is still capturing audiences imaginations, willing them to suspend their disbelief at the portrayal of humans and puppets living side by side. This comical, often satirical, musical is very much aimed at the current generation of twenty-somethings as the larger-than-life characters battle unemployment, sexuality, relationships, homelessness, racism, and much more. Styled like a late-night episode of Sesame Street, this quirky show has almost hit cult status, and after becoming one of the longest running shows on Broadway has run in a number of different productions worldwide.
Southend host the current tour, which continues the UK production of this popular show with all of the necessary shine and pizzazz. With the simple street frontage scenery and descending television screens all unchanged from the original production, the uncomplicated, solid set tours well and all of the effects are effortlessly and hilariously achieved.
The performances from this multi-talented cast are all exemplary. Particular merit must go to the extraordinary puppeteer performers though, with Sam Lupton's strong and versatile voice characterising both Princeton and Rod excellently; Katherine Moraz bringing sweetness to Kate and sex-appeal to Lucy the Slut; and Chris Thatcher constantly hilarious as both down-and-out Nicky and everyone's favourite pervert Trekkie.
Containing musical numbers entitled "It Sucks to be Me", "If You Were Gay" and "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist", it is easy to see how these innocent looking puppets manage to shock and surprise audiences throughout - and delight them in doing so. A must-see musical!