INsite Magazine

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Puppets Rock the Phillips Center

Last night (Nov. 10), we went to Avenue Q at the Phillips Center. Here's our report.

As the lights dim, the curtains are pulled back to expose a simple set with an orange backdrop. This is life in the big city, where people (and puppets) deal with rent, relationships and finding their place in the world. This is Avenue Q.

The show opens to Princeton, a recent college grad looking for a place to live. The audience roars as the motley crew of puppets and humans introduce themselves and their life-woes in “It Sucks To Be Me.” The puppets are only torsos controlled by a puppeteer in all black, but they look like real people, and they can sing. I’m seated at the top of the balcony, yet I feel like I’m in the front row.

Out of all the characters, Asian-American therapist-to-be Christmas Eve is my favorite. She looks like Ms. Swan from Mad TV with her broken English, funny mannerisms and outlandish costume. I’m perched on the edge of my seat as large television monitors drop from the ceiling with the word “Purpose.” This show isn’t just full of raunchy humor—it has a bigger message. All of the animations are fun and cartoon-like and my jaw drops as they segue into “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.”

It’s only 30 minutes in and I'm awestruck.

Two Carebear-like bears come on—the “Bad Idea Bears”—and they have definitely stolen the show. In cut childish voices, they convince Princeton and his love, Kate Monster, into doing some not-so-responsible things. An X-rated puppet sex session follows. Soon Princeton’s “purpose” morphs into “propose” and Kate is worried about walking the line between love and a waste of time.

The mood mellows for a few songs and picks back up with “I wish I Could Go Back to College.” A moment of fear passes through me as I realize I don’t have much time left until I’m going to graduate from college. What am I going to do? How am I going to find my purpose ? My fears are placated, however, as one of the show’s morals sinks in—everything in life is only for now.

I am delighted as the characters come out into the audience and incorporate the Gators into a joke. The show ends, and as everyone bows, the audience rises to its feet. I have a grin from ear-to-ear and my hands hurt from clapping so loud. I feel a little more optimistic—even if it’s just for one night.

—Victoria Phillips

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home