Feb 162012
Authors: Courtney Riley

Tom Berger, the director of Fort Collins’ Midtown Arts Center’s version of the risque Broadway hit Tony Award winner “Avenue Q,” describes the production as a “Sesame Street for grown-ups.”

“There’s Internet porn and full-frontal puppet sex, but at the end of the day, it’s surprisingly sweet, which is one of my favorite parts about the show,” he said. “Seeing the Muppet-style puppets dropping f-bombs and talking about sex and porn is instantly funny. There’s something about that link to our childhood that makes it really fun.”

The show is playing at the Midtown Arts Center every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at noon through March 17. Tickets cost $49 to $59 and include dinner with the show. According to Variety Magazine, “Of all the musicals hatched in the post-2000 age of irony, ‘Avenue Q’ has remained the freshest and funniest.”

“Avenue Q” tells the story of Princeton, a recent college graduate who moves into a New York apartment on Avenue Q, through the use of both human and puppet characters.

The seven-person cast includes four people who play multiple characters with different puppets on stage and three actors who portray their characters without puppets.

“Even though (most of) the characters are puppets, they’re very human, with real emotions and real decisions,” said Matt Casey, who plays Princeton and Rod. “Princeton’s big conflict is looking for his purpose. He just graduated, and now he doesn’t know what to do with his life. I think that everybody’s looking for that; that’s a very relatable thing.”

Mary McGivney, who plays Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut, said the play really hits close to home, since she’s 23 years old and recently graduated from college.

“There’s a song in it called ‘I Wish I Could Go Back to College,’ and it’s amazing how much it touches me,” she said.

Kate Monster, portrayed by McGivney, is a 24-year-old kindergarten teaching assistant who gets tangled up in a romance with Princeton.

“She’s kind of the good girl next door,” McGivney said. “She’s sweet, but she shows her monster side as well.”

McGivney’s other character, Lucy the Slut, is pretty self-explanatory, she said. Her personality is geared toward making people feel special — especially men.

The humor in the show is extremely witty, she said, and touches on things everyone thinks about but isn’t brave enough to actually say.

“The show says it all pretty much,” she said. “It really is a beautiful story if you can get past the offensive remarks. It’s deeper than you’d think.”

At the heart of the matter, it’s an incredibly well-structured and well-written show, Berger said.

“The type of humor is very much our generation,” Casey said. “It’s very naughty and really funny to see puppets do and say these things. College students would really enjoy this production even if they’re not avid theater people.”

Entertainment Editor Courtney Riley can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

What: “Avenue Q”
Where: Midtown Arts Center
When: Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m., and Sunday at noon through March 17
Cost: Friday or Saturday: $59 including dinner and show, Thursday and Sunday: $49 including dinner and show
Rated R
More information: www.adinnertheatre.com

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