Book by Jeff Whitty
Music and Lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx
Directed by Juan Cantú
Music Direction by Heather Langs
Mad Cow Theatre, Orlando, FL
It’s always nice to be naughty, and what’s naughtier than nice puppets having sex? “Avenue Q” is the sort of play you should never bring your kids to but for a first date it will sort out a lot of unknowns very quickly. Off in that seedy part of Puppet City live those down at their luck felt characters: Princeton (Adam Hose) owns one of those useless degrees chained to him with unpayable loans; Kate Monster (Christina Sivrich) occupies a despised underclass; Rod (Hose) just might be gay; and Gary Coleman (Faith Boles) fades from child TV star to building superintendent. There’s love, lust, drinking and a hint of drugs. The Bad Idea Bears (Kurt von Schmittou and Sonia Roman) egg people on and keep the plot interesting. Great songs backed by a live yet invisible trio fill the evening; with titles including “If You Were Gay,””Everyone’s a Bit Racist,” and “The Internet is for Porn” you get a good idea of where we are going.
On stage actors dressed in always-invisible-black operate the puppets; some of the puppeteers normally operate small fish at a large Theme Park down the road. As they move around, occasionally there’s some cross casting between the puppeteers and ever so often there are two puppeteers to give better hand gestures. Voices are solid as well; Brian (Paul Padilla) sings a solid “I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today” while Maya Handa Naff as Christmas Eve performs the Asian Stereotype “Can’t Pronounce the “L”” number “The More You Ruv Somebody.” Ms. Sivrich doubles up to cover the role of Miss Piggy, I mean Miss Lucy, as the voluptuously predatory woman out to destroy Princeton. While the show presents a tolerance and understanding message, the real point of this is rude, naughty fun with puppets saying nasty things, acting like jerks, and reflecting real human’s values. They are NOT just well intentioned dust mops. Big fun, big laughs, and here’s how you know this show is selling fast: they set up an auxiliary bar in the lobby to cover the load.
For more information on Mad Cow, please visit http://www.madcowtheatre.com