INsite Magazine

Monday, November 9, 2009

Puppet Show NOT Child's Play

The adult-themed, Sesame Street-inspired puppet show, Avenue Q, will play at the Phillips center tonight (Nov. 9) and Nov. 10. Despite some obvious parallels with Jim Henson's Sesame Street, the show is in no way affiliated with the classic children's show. Avenue Q trails the lives of a handful of young adults trying to find themselves on the rough streets of NYC.

We caught up with Avenue Q’s wardrobe supervisor Heather Yerrick, who gave us the scoop on what being head of wardrobe is all about, and why you will be peeing your pants during this coming-of-age comedy.

What is Avenue Q all about?
It’s a fun and light-hearted show. It’s not your everyday musical — it’s quirky. The story follows a lot of 20-somethings who are just looking for where they belong in the world, why they’ve been put here and what they can do to make their lives better. They’re struggling with jobs, lovers, friends, relationships and paying rent.

Why would someone enjoy coming to see the show?
It’s completely irreverent and enjoyable show with catchy tunes. It’s not like Oklahoma. It’s not another cookie-cutter musical. The show is for them if they have a sense of humor and can laugh at life. If someone wants to enjoy a good solid laugh, Avenue Q is probably the place for him or her to be.

How did you become involved with the show?
I had been working on a Spongebob Squarepants show in Asia with the costume director who would later be hired for Avenue Q.

What exactly does a wardrobe supervisor do?
There is nothing huge about wardrobe with this show. There are only three human characters that change clothes. It’s certainly a smaller show for me, and it’s more about getting the laundry schedule right than anything else. So few people in the world want to hear about day-in and day-out of doing people's laundry.

What is it like working with puppets?
The puppets don’t change clothes, which is nice. We just have several puppets in different pieces of clothing. Rather than running off stage and doing a quick change with a puppet we just switch the puppet. It certainly makes life a bit easier because there is a lot of puppet swapping in our show.

Avenue Q runs at the Phillips Center, 315 Hull Road, Nov.9 and Nov.10 at 7:30pm. Tickets available at the Phillips Center box office and online at

--Victoria Phillips

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