I caught Avenue Q on Sunday, without knowing what to expect, except that the musical featured puppets, "adult content", and had won several Tony Awards. Can't possibly go far wrong with a Tony, I guess...
And you know what? I absolutely enjoyed It! It was irreverently funny, and what I liked most about it is that it surfaces issues that are always just beneath the surface. Surely, we can all identify with them: The insecurities of loving someone, subconscious racist thoughts, closeting desires, being tempted, or plagued by bad ideas. Oh, don't you just love the Bad Idea Bears? Them bears visit me all the time, I realise... Gosh. *wry grin*
I quite liked Kate Monster's rather silly girly ruminations, like in her "Mixed Tape" song ~ we've all received one of those from potential suitors, no? *wink* Her song "Fine, Fine Line" also played on repeat mode in my mind. There is so much truth in that song. It made my sister (whom I watched the musical with) brush away tears!
Carla Guevara who played Kate Monster is so believable as her, but then the next thing you know, she's playing Lucy the Slut and being 100% believable as her too! With her sexy sashay, rolling hips and sultry voice. Unbelievable!
Well, Stan had his night out at the theatre last evening. So while I had the honour of catching the show before interviewing two Avenue Q cast members, Joel & Rycharde yesterday, my buddy Stan went into the interview 'blind' and probably had a better inkling of how the show would turn out thereafter. Here's what we thought and how many monSTARS we'd give the show.
MonSTAR rating: 8/10
MonSTAR rating: 8/10
Puppets rule at Avenue Q and while I've wondered why any serious professional theatre actor would want to play second fiddle to lifeless half-bodied creatures of green, yellow, blue and orange fur, the same sacrificial act of letting the puppets outshine them is truly magnanimous. Throw a stone and you will hit an actor with strong vocals, impeccable sense of rhythm and moves and lots of expression, but find one with puppetery skills and that's where the distinction is made.
Felix Rivera (Princeton & Rod) and Carla Guevara-Laforteza (Kate & Lucy) were amazingly versatile and precise, switching in and out of character voices. Joel (Nicky, Trekkie Monster & Bad Idea Bear #2) was impressive with his level of energy and strict timing. You'd be forgiven to think the puppets were possessed by the spirits of these actors as they oozed energy and emotion from the person who gave them voice and movement. But the issues presented were real and almost all of the time, embarrasingly true! If no one believed it to be so, the audience wouldn't have laughed so hard. Well-scripted, a choice cast (of humans and puppets) and a refreshing twist to musical theatre!
While the music isn't exactly forgettable, it takes more than humour-punctuated lyrics to latch on, and only a couple of pieces did that for me. The set looked pretty much the same throughout, leaving the screens prompting you to a scene/location change. I found many of Christmas Eve's lines (by Frenchie Dy) unintelligible and she'd do well to tone down her Japanese accent, but if you ask me, i still ruv the show and know you will too. Go treat yourself to some pup-petisserie! Now serving at the Esplanade Theatre till 16th Nov!
(Above: Joel Trinidad & Rycharde Everley in The Living Room)