Avenue Q is Trifle Theatre Company’s first show. It’s already sold out, so it sucks to be you if you didn’t book a ticket.
There’s not much left to say when there are no seats left, except to hold on tight to your tickets, know that you made the right choice and be excited for independent music theatre in Melbourne.
Avenue Q won the Tony for Best Musical in 2004. By Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty, it’s set on a Sesame Street–like street in New York, but the muppet-like rod and hand puppets have their performers visible, and songs like “The Internet is for Porn”, “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “I’m not Wearing Underwear Today” ensure that it’s not for pre-schoolers.
A lot of the jokes are caught back in the early noughties when the internet at home was new and Gary Coleman (What-you-talking-about-Willis?) was still alive (he’s a character in the show) but missing the odd reference doesn’t make it any less wonderfully funny or delightfully filthy.
The secret to Avenue Q is tone. It has to be as intimate, innocent and loving as Sesame Street and as filthy as the porn that Trekkie Monster loves so much. Director Stephen Wheat and the cast nail it.
The closeness of being in the small Chapel off Chapel theatre leaves little to the imagination, so puppets and performers (including Jordan Pollard, Zuleika Khan, Leah Lim, Michael Lindner, Kathleen Amarant, Brett Fisher, Imogen Moore and Jeff van de Zandt) can add the subtle or obvious that makes the sexy more sexy and the slutty more wonderful – as they let us know that there is no where else they would rather be than on that stage and ensure that it’s impossible not to fall in love with everyone: furry, fluffy or smooth.
Produced by Sarah Golding (who also plays Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut) and Andy McDougall (who made the brilliant puppets and plays Nicky and Trekkie Monster), this new company, while running as a co-op, are hoping to develop an indie theatre that can pay equity wages. With such a successful first production, they may well be a company that sticks around and shows some of the commercial shows what great music theatre should be.
Let’s hope for a return season because they deserve it and everyone who missed out deserves to see it.