pictured above: Kate Monster (Jessica Fair) and Princeton (Joshua Woodward) talking together
Today’s world is full of controversy and lacks discussion. Many pointed issues, either on Capitol Hill or around one’s dinner table, are talked about but not resolved. At times, news reports and media messages seem bleak and there is a little conversation to fix it. In spite of this, the Wilmington College Theatre Department made bold strokes when they took matters into their own hands by starting a conversation with Avenue Q.
Avenue Q is one of the Broadway musicals people hear about, yet know little about. The show is designed to have a childlike appeal with its use of puppetry and comedic disposition. Behind the façade, however, mature subject matter and ideas are discussed, provoked, and satirized.
The plot follows young Princeton, a recent college graduate yearning to find his purpose in life. He finds a home on Avenue Q, and meets an array of people: the sweet Kate Monster, roommates Rod and Nicky, eccentric Christmas Eve, and many more. He is thrust into the real world, making real-world mistakes, and learns that life is not always easy.
This show is not for everyone. Although it can be charming at times, the show’s delivery can be very brusque. But keep in mind, the show is like that in order to display reality’s truths in a comical way. You should not want to dismiss Avenue Q due to the content because the topics it presents (e.g. racism, morality, relationships) are extremely applicable, especially to college students, and need to be addressed.
With that said, the cast did a spectacular job in their production. They performed zealously each night, earning roars of applause.
All of the performers acted and reacted with the puppetry well. They only had two months to not just rehearse, but to learn how to effectively use puppets, yet it was all handled splendidly.
Additionally, they demonstrated the beauty of live theater – many had to respond to unintentional accidents quickly and inconspicuously. From misspoken lines to incorrect technical cues, cast and crew recovered nicely.
[Avenue Q] started a much-needed conversation at the perfect time.
The Theatre Department presented a show that could be labelled as provocative in a respectful and meaningful way. They started a much-needed conversation at the perfect time, too. Controversial issues regarding President Trump, foreign conflicts, and domestic debates can be connected to the issues described in Avenue Q. If that connection can be made, maybe people will take courage and speak with one another and finally create resolutions to the problems society faces. That is what the writers, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, wanted to happen and why they created the show.
The show does present a perfect message for the society of 2017: everything is only for now. Things will change. They can get better or they can get worse, but the one thing to remember is that life is temporary. Do not stall or become rooted in the negativity. Life is beautiful, and the world offers many extraordinary things.
It is up to you to find it.
Life is beautiful, and the world offers many extraordinary things. It is up to you to find it.
All pictures taken by Randy Sarvis