Monday, August 4, 2008
Music Monday/Toronto Week: Avenue Q
For other tales of musical adventure, please visit Soccer Mom in Denial.
D and I spent a blissful five days in Toronto last week. This week, I'll share some of the highlights.
By far, the greatest highlight was staying at A Seaton Dream Bed and Breakfast , and meeting wonderful Jamie and Alan Read-Chua, our hosts. Soon after we had reserved our room, I got an e-mail from Alan asking if we'd like to join a group of their friends to see Avenue Q.
I've loved the score ever since my Swedish daughter, M, introduced me to the score on a road trip last year.
After a nice dinner with Jamie, Alan and a group of their friends, we crossed the street and slipped into our seats at the Elgin Theatre moments before the lights dimmed, and Avenue Q did not disappoint.
I loved the score because although most of the songs are comedic, they also hold important grains of truth. The stage show, however, brought new dimensions to the songs. For those who are completely unfamiliar with this unusual show, it's a modern story of young people (and Gary Coleman) living and struggling on Avenue Q, an NYC avenue so far to the Lower East Side, that it's "Q" in the alphabet (avenues in that area get less desirable the farther east you go, so you can do the math - or alphabetization - here). The show begins with a number asking "What do you do with a BA in English?", and goes on with such reality crashers as "It Sucks to be Me", "The Internet is for Porn", "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist", "There's a Fine Line between Love and Nothing", and well, you get the idea. Despite what sounds like a downer, all of these songs are upbeat and set within a Sesame Street-like setting. The action is done by a mix of live actors and muppet-like puppets, including some dead ringers for Bert and Ernie who are truly hysterical. In addition, giant monitors drop down and give word explanations, just like the show, but in quite inappropriate (and hysterical) ways.
This is not a show for kids.
Let me repeat that. This is not a show for kids.
It's the only Broadway show I've been to that carries an age "warning". (I was too young for Oh Calcutta). Trust me, the warning is appropriate.
And yeah, if you've ever wondered what it looks like for muppets to go at it in a variety of sexual positions, this show's for you. 'Nuff said.
Despite that, the show is brilliant and hysterical, and I may have to see it as many times as my budget will allow.
As usual, youtube is not speaking to my blog (and if anyone can help me with this, I'd be EVER so grateful!!!), so I'm posting links to some of my favorite versions of Avenue Q songs. The Disney Princesses singing "The Internet is for Porn" is over-the-top.
Enjoy! And buy tickets, if this comes your way.
an overview - promo for the show
It Sucks to be Me
If U Were Gay
The Internet is For Porn
Everyone's a Little Bit Racist