When you think about puppets, what automatically comes to mind? You probably start to reminisce about early childhood memories of Elmo and Big Bird teaching you about friendship and telling you the letter of the day. Well now try to imagine what it would be like if Sesame Street was rated R.
This is the basic idea of Avenue Q, conceived and composed by Robert Lopez, who also wrote the music for The Book of Mormon. Boston College has chosen this hilarious modern show as their spring musical and I can assure you, you will not be disappointed when you see it. The plot follows the stories of puppets (and a few humans) as they struggle with the challenges of adjusting to adulthood.
It’s very easy for college students to relate to these problems, as we are also rapidly approaching our own adulthood and total independence which, to be honest, scares the bejesus out of most people (including me). In the show, the characters struggle with unemployment, sexuality, single life, and a question that might hit too close to home for some liberal arts students: “What do you do with a B.A. in English?”
The show is chock full of hilarity, from its not-so-subtle parody of Bert and Ernie, to the incredibly stereotyped Japanese therapist named Christmas Eve, to the superintendent of the apartment building, actor Gary Coleman, who is just really fed up with people asking him, “Whatchu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?"
The songs are brilliantly written, not to mention extremely controversial and often politically incorrect. Here are five of the best songs from Avenue Q to inspire you to rush down to Robsham and get your tickets now before this uproariously funny show sells out! (Warning: these songs contain some strong language and controversial/raunchy subject matter)
1. "Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist"
In this song, the characters realize that although they don’t mean to be, everyone is slightly racist in their own way.
2. "If You Were Gay"
One roommate telling the other that it would be OK if he were gay? Hilarious. Using that to parody Bert and Ernie? Genius.
3. "The Internet is for Porn"
One monster wants to use the internet to teach others…yet another monster has a very different opinion as to what its true use should be.
4. "It Sucks to Be Me"
Sometimes your life just sucks and all you can do is sing about it.
Schadenfreude: the German word that means “happiness at the misfortune of others.” This song points out that as much as you hate to admit it, you are totally guilty of schadenfreude all the time.
Avenue Q is playing in Robsham Wed. 4/24 – Sat. 4/27 @ 7:30 PM and Sun. 4/28 @ 2 PM. Tickets are on-sale at the Robsham box office.