‘Sesame Street’ for grownups
“Avenue Q” is not the “Sesame Street” of your childhood, but a laugh-out-loud, musical comedy wakeup call for young adults which Southgate Community Players uses to leave audiences laughing.
The musical comedy, winner of three 2004 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score, is a coming-of-age parable that pokes fun at the issues associated with becoming an adult and finding one’s “special purpose.”
The two-act musical features music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, with book by Jeff Whitty. Lopez and Marx went on to collaborate with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of “South Park,” to create “The Book of Mormon.”
Directed and choreographed by Phil Rauch of Southgate, the show runs 7 p.m. Aug. 18, 19, 25 and 26 at the 100-seat, newly remodeled Corner Playhouse, 12671 Dix-Toledo Road, Southgate.
The cast includes Ashley Blevins of Allen Park as a Bad News Bear; Rob Douglas of Brownstown Township as Nicky; Cory Shorter of Dearborn Heights as Princeton; Lincoln Park residents Ashley Lyle as Gary Coleman and Brandon Van Houten as a Bad Idea Bear; Matt Mayes of Melvindale as Rod; Dara Pardon of Rockwood as Kate Monster; and Southgate residents Don Corbin as Trekkie Monster, Sydnee Dombrowski as Lucy, Logan Laflin as Brian, Tamara Marla as Christmas Eve and Austin Sulkey as Mrs. Thistletwat.
Shorter said the show tackles real life situations everyone faces as they transition to adulthood, exposing its humor, and as people get caught up in the show, they forget that the characters are puppets.
“This show tackles real life situations, making it fun,” he said. “People should be able to laugh at themselves.”
Lyle agrees that the show encourages people to take life less seriously.
“The show mirrors our lives, with all the humor and pain people go through on a daily basis,” she said. “Not having money for rent, losing a job, losing relationships and meeting a celebrity.”
Corbin said acting with a puppet is challenging, especially with the show reflecting what would happen if characters resembling those on “Sesame Street” were dropped into “South Park.”
Dombrowski agreed, and said while animating a puppet requires meticulous choreography and rehearsing, the resultant adult humor arising from the foul-mouthed puppet characters that make references to “Sesame Street” will leave audiences laughing.
Dombrowski said while the show’s humor is adult, it is still heartwarming and identifiable.
“’Avenue Q’ is a story anyone can relate to, from trying to figure out what you want to do with your life to getting dumped,” she said. “This show parodies the experiences people have in life: one night stands, not being ready to commit, being laid off, and things we all think but can’t say out loud.”
Tickets are $15 for all seats. To order, call 734-282-4727 or go to scponstage.com.