Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on 28 December 2005
This is a musical that will probably appeal a lot more when it is seen, rather than simply heard. The conceit with this is that the characters are mostly puppets, in the style of Sesame Street, rather than the usual actors and singers. There are actors as well but the songs are sung by people visibly manipulating puppets onstage.
Anyway, how is the music? Pretty good and certainly very amusing. Some of the songs, eg 'The Internet is for Porn' are funny enough to make you laugh out loud. Some, 'A Fine, Fine Line', are trying for a more poignant emotional response. Most are lively and rousing.
The story, as far as the booklet explains, concerns a new arrival in the city. He comes to stay on Avenue Q and makes friends with other people in his building. They each have their own troubles and, naturally, their own song to explain them. The people get together, split up, get together again and all seem set to live happily ever after at the end.
This is quite a simplistic musical. It doesn't try to reach the emotional depths or heights that others (Rent?) might do. It doesn't have any really outstanding numbers which are obviously finales or showstoppers. Most of the songs are aimed at getting laughs, as is the show as a whole. As I said, it probably needs to be seen as the unique selling point with it is that it involves puppets, rather than being especially meaningful or beautifully sung.
Overall, the songs are pleasant and will make you laugh or chuckle. The plot is extremely obviously set up to end a certain way but it moves along smoothly. If you want an unchallenging musical with an unusual approach and songs you'll be humming and quoting when it finishes, this is it. If you want a musical extravaganza which will provoke an emotional response or tell you a story you haven't heard before, this isn't it. Enjoy it anyway.