Puppets Play Adult Roles In “Avenue Q”

Despite the fact that the advertised 'adult situations' are between puppets, they’re pretty graphic.

Event Information

Avenue Q

Music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx


IU Auditorium

April 27 and 28, 2010 at 8 pm

IU Auditorium

“It Sucks To Be Me”

The Broadway musical Avenue Q has come to the IU Auditorium for Tuesday and Wednesday night performances. The show loosely follows a college graduate who’s just arrived in the big city of New York. He’s looking for love, a purpose in life and, most of all, a means of paying the rent. The opening number sets the tone for the show: he and the other tenants who live on Avenue Q compete for the low place on the totem pole in the song “It Sucks To Be Me.”

“10 % Foam Rubber” Can Be Grown-Up Too

Avenue Q describes itself as “80 % Tony-Winning Hilarity, 10% Adult Situations and 10% Foam Rubber.” Whoever wrote that likely had it carefully worked out, so let’s not quibble with numbers. There’s plenty of laughter among the audience, even when songs like “Everyone Is A Little Bit Racist,” “If You Were Gay” and “Schadenfreude” (a celebration of taking delight in others’ misfortunes) draw some mixed feelings from the crowd.

Avenue Q‘s music is essentially a generic framework for crisply delivered lyrics. The songs are well worked out; “That’s A Fine, Fine Line” is quite lovely. Despite the fact that the advertised ‘adult situations’ are between puppets, they’re pretty graphic. The most ‘adult’ thing about Avenue Q is the fact that its characters, even in success, never ride off into the glow of sunset. As they sing in the final song, any given moment is “Only For Now” – and that’s a real adult evaluation.

Energy And Camaraderie

The production has a very talented cast of singer/ voice actor/ puppeteers, all of whom perform onstage right in front of the audience. Their energy accomplishment are outstanding. The singing, acting and even dancing all worked. There was a real sense of camaraderie from the ensemble.

To honor that, Tuesday night’s packed house gave the show a well-deserved standing ovation.

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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