Avenue Q at the Granada

Puppets Examine City Life

Award-winning Broadway musical Avenue Q arrived at the Granada Theater on Tuesday, January 26 and played to a full house. Avenue Q is a hilarious and intuitive satirical comedy—with puppets. Yes, puppets. Think Sesame Street, but for a “riper” audience. The show portrays a unique medley of happy-go-lucky puppets and human characters trapped in reality—or rather the low-income neighborhood of Avenue Q in New York City.

Princeton, played by Brent Michael DiRoma, is a promising, fresh-faced college graduate who has launched into the real world in search of his purpose. However, having recently acquired a “useless” BA in English, he is laid off from his work before it even begins due to budget cuts—how timely. Jacqueline Grabois plays the endearing Kate Monster, a lovable (yet unloved) teacher’s assistant yearning for a little TLC. Rod (DiRoma), Nicky, (Jason Heymann), Brian (Tim Kornblum), Christmas Eve (Lisa Helmi Johanson), Trekkie Monster, and the Gary Coleman (Nigel Jamaal Clark) make up the remainder of the eclectic tangle of residents in the apartment building.

Each character has his or her own personal struggle or idiosyncrasy: unemployment, homelessness, closeted homosexuality, and porn addiction…you name it, and one of them has got it. This provides a very appealing characteristic for an audience, and most likely has something to do with this provocative musicals’ success—anyone can identify with at least one of the characters, even if it is a furry teacher’s assistant with a sweet tooth for Long Island Ice Tea. There’s a little bit of something for everyone.

This particular production was performed with fluid excellence. Each character (including puppets) was brought to life, creating a distinct relationship between the performers and the audience. Clapping, cheering, and random comments were welcomed with grace by these performers.

Viewers howled with laughter consistently throughout the show, and I definitely heard audience members humming the tunes of various catchy songs while shuffling out of the theater post-performance. Less composed Avenue Q fans didn’t catch themselves and walked out singing“The Internet is for Porn,” while exiting onto State Street.

Avenue Q provides a humorous look at the obstacles of life. What better way to entertain yourself than by appreciating the good that resides within in the bad, or the positive effects that your own quirks might offer. Talk about fantasies come true!

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