BWW Review: AVENUE Q, King's Theatre, Glasgow
Lopez and Marx's three-time Tony Award-winning Avenue Q stops at the King's Theatre, Glasgow on its latest UK tour.
The show opened Off Broadway in 2002 before transferring to Broadway and subsequently a run in London's West End, gaining a multitude of fans and a somewhat cult following.
It follows the human and puppet residents of "Avenue Q", a drab and dingy but definitely more affordable street in downtown New York. Recent college graduate Princeton (Lawrence Smith) has decided he needs to discover his purpose in life, and whilst trying to find himself, he comes across a variety of wacky neighbourhood characters, including roommates Rod and Nicky, engaged couple Brian (Oliver Stanley) and Christmas Eve (Saori Oda), and the local pervert Trekkie Monster (Tom Steedon). Megan Armstrong appears as Kate Monster (NO relation to Trekkie!), Princeton's love interest and the literal girl next door.
Avenue Q is full of snappy dialogue and a witty score, which handles controversial topics such as race and sexuality. The main draw of the show is the puppetry - clever costuming (supervised by Samantha Murphy) combined with Paul Jomain's colourful and endearing puppets ensures that audience's eyes are drawn to the puppets themselves rather than the actors behind them.
The cast works seamlessly as an ensemble, with most of the actors playing multiple roles and switching between voices and accents. Armstrong in particular gives a very believable performance as sweetheart Kate, as well as the sultry and voluptuous Lucy The Slut. Steedon portrays Nicky and lovable rogue Trekkie Monster with equally impressive vocal talent for both parts.
Nicholas McLean gives a great performance as Gary Coleman, former child star of sitcom Different Strokes, but the character and plot may be lost on those unfamiliar with the US TV comedy.
The humour in Avenue Q was warmly received and the Glasgow audience were cheering in delight at the more risqué jokes delivered by the "Bad Idea Bears". Some of the jokes have not aged quite as well, with references to the internet being slightly outdated for a 2019 audience.
Cressida Carre is both choreographer and director for the show and, together with a stellar cast and expert pit band (directed by Dean McDermott), has created a fun, energetic and downright hilarious take on this rude but heartwarming musical.
Avenue Q runs at the King's Theatre, Glasgow until 29 June before continuing its UK tour