Avenue Q may be a puppet show, but it’s definitely not for children.
The musical satire packs a punch with its serious themes, risque dialogue, and showstopping song-and-dance numbers. It follows a recent university graduate as he learns to navigate the real world, which makes it a perfect show for Scotch Oakburn students, director Denise Sam said.
“It’s the school edition which means that it will be appropriate for teenagers and adults, not appropriate for children, but it is still true to the original Avenue Q,” she said.
“It still has that tongue-in-cheek humour where we can confront some of the issues that are a bit more controversial or challenging in our society, and the kids of course have loved doing it because it’s so relevant for them.”
The characters are adult takes on Seseme Street characters. There’s the Cookie Monster parody Trekkie Monster, an internet addict, and Bert and Ernie parodies Rod and Nicky, who have an unrequited same-sex love plotline.
For many of the students the show will be their first time performing in a musical, let alone a musical with puppets.
Shione Takata plays Christmas Eve, a therapist who is one of the few non-puppet characters in the show. However, she said there were still plenty of challenges for her to nail the role.
“I have to be upstairs in the window and I have less than 10 seconds to get downstairs and then come through the door so I’ve got a bit of running to do,” she said. “There’s also a lot of changes for me because I’m a human character. In one of the scenes I have to get into a Chinese dress in less than a minute, which is a bit tight because there’s a lot of buttons to do.”
The original show, by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, won Best Musical, and Best Original Score at the Tony Awards when it opened in 2004.
The Scotch Oakburn production will be held at the Horton Auditorium, 85 Penquite Road, running on Wednesday August 29, Thursday August 30 and Friday August 31 at 7pm. Tickets available at www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=408510&.