Friday, May 3, 2013

Life and laughter on 'Avenue Q'

You know how every problem that occurs on “Sesame Street” seems to be solved within five minutes? If a Muppet is going through some stuff, there’s a solution or advice waiting just around the corner from a fellow Muppet, a cast member or a visiting celebrity.

Life’s not so simple on “Avenue Q.” Princeton has a B.A. in English, but has not yet found his purpose in life. Kate Monster is a kindergarten teaching assistant who wants to open a school for monsters someday. Rod is a Republican banker who’s keeping a secret even he doesn’t really know. Trekkie Monster likes to spend time surfing the Internet … for porn. And Gary Coleman has long left acting behind and works as a building superintendent.

These and other characters – some of whom are portrayed by humans and some of which are puppets brought to life by their human friends – sing about their dreams and their struggles in the musical “Avenue Q.” The show deals with such issues as sexual identity, unemployment, racism and relationships, but does so in a warm and funny way.

The book, the songs and the puppetry come together to make this an absolutely original, hilarious musical. When I saw it a few years ago, I remember my stomach hurting from laughing so much. I watched part of one of the recent rehearsals of the Ephrata Performing Arts Center’s production of “Avenue Q,” and remembered why this show is so delightful, clever and funny. The cast is doing a fantastic job!

“Avenue Q” opened last night at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre. Be sure to treat yourself to this great (but ADULT) night of theater. Keep in mind that life is full of things that aren’t very pleasant … and that life contains sex. And KEEP THE KIDS AT HOME. This show is definitely about grown-up stuff.

But if you’re a grown-up (and don’t mind puppets having sex, briefly, on stage – it’s hilarious, believe me!), you will love this show!

You can read more about the show here, in today's Entertainment Lancaster section of the Intelligencer-Journal/New Era.

The show runs through May 18. Order tickets on the web site or by calling 733-7966.

                       -- merv wright