Avenue Q review: Welcome back to the little show with a huge heart and tons of smarts

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The internet is for porn. Everyone is a little bit racist. There’s a fine, fine line between a fairytale and lie – and, most important of all, what on Earth do you do with a BA in English? These are just a few of the things that far too many of us wrestle with on a daily basis and are further proof everything might make a little more sense if we all just head on down to Avenue Q. This pint-sized treat packs a punch with its clever lyrics, hummable tunes, joyously talented young performers and the filthiest puppet sex scene you will ever (hopefuly) see anywhere in your life.

The show is basically an X-rated Sesame Street with plenty of life lessons but none of the platitudes. The music and lyrics by Robert Lopez (who co-created The Book Of Mormon and co-wrote the biggest hits from Frozen) and Jeff Marx hit every spot, sweet and sharp, with unerring accuracy.

There were roars of recognition and laughter throughout the night at the barrage of barbs aimed at every feeble foible of our fumbling attempts to navigate grown-up life. Crucially, though, there is also compassion for human frailties. And some cracking tunes.

The puppets are purposefully caricatures and the puppeteers are plainly visible, acting and singing alongside their characters. There is no attempt to suspend reality. And yet, somehow, when bespectacled blue and Republican Rod wrestled with his feelings for his best friend Nicky and had his heart broken, the whole audience sighed along with him. 

When furry monster girl Kate riffed on racism we laughed at the sharp barbs but also empathised. Everyone is a little bit racist, indeed. Everyone, in fact, is a little bit human. Monster or otherwise.



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