Tom Berger, the director of Fort Collinsâ€™ Midtown Arts Centerâ€™s version of the risque Broadway hit Tony Award winner â€œAvenue Q,â€ describes the production as a â€œSesame Street for grown-ups.â€
â€œThereâ€™s Internet porn and full-frontal puppet sex, but at the end of the day, itâ€™s surprisingly sweet, which is one of my favorite parts about the show,â€ he said. â€œSeeing the Muppet-style puppets dropping f-bombs and talking about sex and porn is instantly funny. Thereâ€™s something about that link to our childhood that makes it really fun.â€
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, â€˜Avenue Qâ€™ has remained the freshest and funniest.”
â€œAvenue Qâ€ 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.
â€œEven though (most of) the characters are puppets, theyâ€™re very human, with real emotions and real decisions,â€ said Matt Casey, who plays Princeton and Rod. â€œPrincetonâ€™s big conflict is looking for his purpose. He just graduated, and now he doesnâ€™t know what to do with his life. I think that everybodyâ€™s looking for that; thatâ€™s a very relatable thing.â€
Mary McGivney, who plays Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut, said the play really hits close to home, since sheâ€™s 23 years old and recently graduated from college.
â€œThereâ€™s a song in it called â€˜I Wish I Could Go Back to College,â€™ and itâ€™s amazing how much it touches me,â€ she said.
Kate Monster, portrayed by McGivney, is a 24-year-old kindergarten teaching assistant who gets tangled up in a romance with Princeton.
â€œSheâ€™s kind of the good girl next door,â€ McGivney said. â€œSheâ€™s sweet, but she shows her monster side as well.â€
McGivneyâ€™s other character, Lucy the Slut, is pretty self-explanatory, she said. Her personality is geared toward making people feel special â€” especially men.
The humor in the show is extremely witty, she said, and touches on things everyone thinks about but isnâ€™t brave enough to actually say.
â€œThe show says it all pretty much,â€ she said. â€œIt really is a beautiful story if you can get past the offensive remarks. Itâ€™s deeper than youâ€™d think.â€
At the heart of the matter, itâ€™s an incredibly well-structured and well-written show, Berger said.
â€œThe type of humor is very much our generation,â€ Casey said. â€œItâ€™s very naughty and really funny to see puppets do and say these things. College students would really enjoy this production even if theyâ€™re not avid theater people.â€
Entertainment Editor Courtney Riley can be reached at email@example.com.
What: â€œAvenue Qâ€
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
More information: www.adinnertheatre.com