Avenue Q

Posted by Brandon |

We took in three Broadway musicals while in New York starting with Monty Python's Spamalot on Tuesday, The Phantom of the Opera on Thursday and Avenue Q on Saturday. While Spamalot was irreverent and hilarious and Phantom was, well, Phantom - for better or for worse, the clear winner amongst the three was the ridiculously funny Avenue Q, the 2004 Tony winner for Best Musical and now perhaps my new favorite musical.

Avenue Q is the story of a group of New York City residents composed of humans, monsters (puppets) and even Gary Coleman living in a low-rent part of town struggling with finding a job, relationships, whether or not you are gay, porn and finding your purpose in life. The best description I can come up with is that Avenue Q is Sesame Street if Sesame Street were about adult life and R-Rated.

All of the songs are great. In fact, reading the song titles in the Times Square Virgin Megastore after seeing Spamalot on Tuesday convinced us that we had to see this show despite only ever having heard one song from the production. How can you go wrong with "It Sucks To Be Me", "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist", "The Internet is for Porn" or "My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada"?

Avenue Q isn't deep by any means, but it isn't just a silly throwaway comedy either. Mostly it's a comedy, and a really good one, but it also has some nice stories about relationships and deals with a few touchy and interesting subjects. It has enough of the silly and the semi-serious worlds to satisfy you in both ways.

It's just a ton of fun and I highly suggest that if you happen to be in New York or London or anywhere that it is on tour (it opens in Seattle on June 10th and makes it's way to LA in September) that you go out and see it. Even if you aren't a fan of musical theater I think you'll like it. It's snarky and funny and worth every penny.

As an Aside: I can't say that I was ever a big fan of musical theater despite (or maybe because of) having to sing numerous medleys while a choir dork in high school. So when my theater geek wife started dragging me to shows, I wasn't all that excited. But now with a whole host of innovative and fun musicals under my belt I don't have any problem with them. Even the big, overblown Andrew Lloyd Webber type musical is OK with me occasionally.

The guy behind me at Avenue Q was talking with his friend about how even though he likes going to shows, he would still probably rather spend the big bucks to go to a ballgame and sit nice and close as opposed to a musical. I used to be just like him, but after going to a rather long and boring Yankees game on Friday night and three really good musicals I don't know anymore. I felt that even though we spent way more money on the musicals I got a lot more entertainment value out of them than the cheaper Yankees tickets.

The difference is that in sports you never know what is going to happen, it's an entertainment gamble. Sometimes the games will be stinkers like the one we went to or sometimes you see something that can never again be replicated. It's a crapshoot in that sense and one of the reasons that sports holds us captive in the way that it does.


Avitable said...

My wife saw that last time she was in NY and loved it. She brought me the soundtrack.

Hilly said...

I saw it when it was at The Wynn in Vegas and seriously love it! The songs you mentioned get stuck in my head all of the time and I have to stop myself from singing them at work!

August said...

The guy in the middle is on a show called "Johnny and the Sprites' that my kids watch. I totally could tell in that show that he's a Broadway actor.

tarametblog said...

Ave Q was an unexpected surprise for me too, and is one of my favs on Broadway, glad you got to see it.