- I didn’t think that the Skylight Theatre could match its
stunning seasonal closer, Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park
with George,” but they have done so with the current showing
of “Avenue Q,” a delightful adult “Sesame Street.”
I watched the musical unfold, I was reminded of an adult
development course I took in college and how young adults
often feel disillusioned when they encounter the realities of
adulthood - jobs, relationships and financial burdens. The
disconnect between their expectations and the practical
concerns of daily life is often dramatic.
Q is a low-income neighborhood that attracts young adults who
have left the relative safety and security of home and college
life to forge their way in “the real world,” one they
never expected. The only consolation is that they find others
who are experiencing similar shocks.
is particularly unique and clever about this thematic
treatment, created by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez, is
that most of the characters are represented by puppets, the
most human puppets you’ll ever meet. Six very talented
actors play the roles of three humans and 11 puppets, and
their ability to make this very demanding task look easy
attests to their abilities.
of the songs have messages - that we’re all a little racist,
that we have to accept our sexual orientation, that the people
we love can often be the ones we’d like to kill, that people
are happier when they are less selfish, that there’s a lot
of world to see and that it is up to us to make our life
interesting and meaningful. Growing up is the process of
becoming less self-centered.
is a show that will appeal to young adults and all of us who
remember being one. It’s a bit irreverent, a bit satiric,
sometimes funny, other times moving, but not too offensive for
manipulation of the puppets, the incredible set design (Carrie
Dahl), the lively costuming (Barry Link), and direction and
choreography (Donna Drake) all add to the consummate enjoyment
of the show.
most of the credit must go to the six actor-singers who took
on all these roles and made us care for all these characters -
Ben Durocher as Princeton and Rod, Kate Margaret McCann as
Kate Monster and Lucy, Jacob Jacoby as Nickie, Trekkie Monster
and Bad Idea Bear, Tiffany Yvonne Cox as Gary Coleman, Maya
Naff as Christmas Eve, Rick Pendzich as Brian, and Alison Mary
Forbes as Mrs. T, Right Hand of Trekkie Monster, and Bad Idea
Bear II. The lightning transformations from one character to
another are amazing on the parts of Durocher, McCann, Jacoby
and Forbes. The ensemble numbers are strong.
repertory consists of 22 musical numbers, and though none of
them has established an existence apart from the show, the
lyrics and melodies keep us engaged. This is a show that
deserved all of the awards it received. I predict it will have
a long life and charm many a theatergoer.
Q” runs through Oct. 14 in the Cabot Theatre in the Broadway
Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee. For show times and
tickets, call 414-291-7800 or visit www.skylightmusicaltheatre.or