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Puppets Play Adult Roles In "Avenue Q"

"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.

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