I’ve been invited to see the rehearsal of Supa Productions Inc’s latest production Avenue Q, which is playing at the Queanbeyan Theatre from 28 April until May 13. As the cast begins to arrive, I find myself sensing something familiar about this play. It isn’t until I hear the piano playing and the puppets come to life that I recognise that this play is reminding me of my childhood.
Sesame Street had a significant impact in my life. I learnt to count, the alphabet and colours through the sketches and puppets of Sesame Street. Somehow seeing a colourful character made learning things and understanding concepts easier.
This is not however, a children’s show. Avenue Q touches on topics that are still considered taboo in today’s society. It does so in an upfront manner, without providing excuses or asking for forgiveness – the adult way. The realities that the characters face in this play are exactly what the adult world forces us to deal with – the complications of relationships, ‘the grown-up’ world, homosexuality, and the expectations of marriage to name a few.
In Avenue Q, the puppeteers emulate the characters they play. Unlike the Sesame Street TV show, here you see the puppeteer; they are right there bringing the characters to life through their movements and their voices. After a while you forget that they are there though; their characters come to life fully as they interact with each other.
The play does make me wonder whether we are as tolerant today as we think we are. Has life changed that much since 2003? We spend almost every waking hour in front of a computer or on our phones, and our relationships sometimes sprout from those devices. The essence of what being an adult is, the challenges and obstacles that we encounter; that is still the same.
The play originally debuted in March 2003 off-Broadway, but its popularity pushed it to open on Broadway in July that year. It won 3 Tony Awards in 2003, and is the 24th longest running show in Broadway history (2534 performances), and from tonight’s rehearsal I am certainly looking forward to seeing the full play.
What you need to know:
- Avenue Q is playing at the The Q Performing Arts Centre (click here for map) from 28 April to 13 May 2017.
- Tickets are available by calling The Q Performing Arts Centre on 02 6285 6290 or visiting their website
- Prices range from $54 (concession) to $58. Please note that transaction fees may apply.