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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Avenue Q

posted by on June 11 at 15:16 PM

According to a doorman at the Paramount, about 50 delicate souls stormed out of last night’s opening of Avenue Q.

“They were grumbling about it being ‘inappropriate,’” the doorman said. “But I don’t have any sympathy for idiots who buy tickets and don’t even know what they’re going to see.”

Avenue Q is a grown-up parody of Sesame Street—by some former employees of Sesame Street—that opened in a 150-seat theater Off Broadway and, in 2003, became a magnet for Tony and Drama Desk Awards.

The puppets sing about disappointment and ennui, getting drunk and one-night stands—grown-up stuff, but nothing outrageous.

One character (based on Bert) is a closeted gay Republican who sings about his “girlfriend” in Canada. After the song’s final line (“I can’t wait to eat her pussy again”), a couple behind me rocketed out of their seats and angrily flew up the aisle.

I’m just sorry Avenue Q didn’t make it out here sooner—it’s a funny, successful parody of kids’ shows, with learn-and-grow lessons for adults. As they sing in the final number: “Life may be scary, but it’s only temporary.”

Now please enjoy the opening number, “It Sucks To Be Me”:

More information on tickets and show times here.

RSS icon Comments


It's corny, but I stumbled onto Avenue Q during a rough patch a couple of years ago and it really helped. There's something oddly (and I hate this word) affirming about hearing a completely objective "Yep, life sucks" once in a while.

And I just got my tickets. I can't wait.

Posted by Chris B | June 11, 2008 3:20 PM

When's Wondershowzen coming to the stage?

Posted by heywhatsit | June 11, 2008 3:21 PM

@2 -- Kids on the street! Kids on the beat! Beat kids!

I will personally bankroll the production...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 11, 2008 3:22 PM

It just came to Seattle because the producers opted to not tour the show nationally right after it won the Tony. It played in Vegas instead...which doesn't make much sense to me.

Posted by michael strangeways | June 11, 2008 3:24 PM

Sounds like the audience for the SIFF movie La France.

And, even if annie liked that, it's still a 1 or a 2 for those of us who watched the whole thing ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 11, 2008 3:24 PM

I was there last night and it was good. Not as good as the Broadway production (the male and female leads werent as strong) but it was damn good.

And for people to be offended by this means they were completely ignorant of what was in store.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 11, 2008 3:25 PM

I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait! And! Spring Awakening is also coming to the Paramount.

Posted by PopTart | June 11, 2008 3:29 PM

I wanna see Passing Strange.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 11, 2008 3:31 PM

Okay, years ago I had a co-worker who was friends with Roscoe Orman, the dude who played Gordon. Remember all that 'Bert is Evil' shit? A lot of the Sesame Street folks were upset about it, but my friend told me that Roscoe thought it was hilarious.

Posted by The Artist Formerly Known As Sigourney Beaver | June 11, 2008 3:38 PM

The show was great. The people who left were morons.

Posted by The General | June 11, 2008 3:38 PM

What? They didn't see the five-foot high poster of Lucy the Slut at the entry to the theatre? Or the 40 foot high banner prominently featuring Muppet Cleavage?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 11, 2008 3:42 PM

Ah, the Seattle culturati who can't stand anything 0.1 degree out of alignment with bland.

I once saw a fellow at a Philip Glass performance at the UW stand up and address the crowd IN THE MIDDLE OF A MOVEMENT, complaining that the music was too loud and he would like to move to a seat further back, and if anyone sitting further back would like to exchange seats with him, he would be happy to do so, blah blah blah, while a column of thick black smoke ascended from Mr. Glass's rapidly boiling forehead.

Posted by Fnarf | June 11, 2008 3:49 PM

Hilarious. Some of the billboards advertising the show have "Not for the little ones" under the title. They obviously anticipated that clueless parents would be all "oh look, puppets! little Bradley will love it!"

Posted by MB | June 11, 2008 3:52 PM

Those who were disappointed in the show should be given a free pass to watch "Meet the Feebles."

Posted by mmbb | June 11, 2008 3:55 PM

AVENUE Q is awesome. Here is "It Sucks to Me" from the Israeli production ... in Hebrew, of course.

Posted by Bub | June 11, 2008 3:56 PM

AVENUE Q is awesome. Here is "It Sucks to Me" from the Israeli production ... in Hebrew, of course.

Posted by Bub | June 11, 2008 3:56 PM

If I see parents with kids under 10 when I go to the show am I allowed to wallop them upside the head?

No? I didn't think so, but it would be nice...

Posted by PopTart | June 11, 2008 3:57 PM

Oh, Fnarf, just because some people - who happen to live in Seattle - found offense with "Avenue Q", puhleeze dispense with the tired, constantly disproven myth that these kinds of things ONLY happen in Seattle.

And @17:

Personally, I think you're remiss in upholding your Civic Duty if you DON'T wallop them upside the head...

Posted by COMTE | June 11, 2008 4:04 PM

Puppets, like cartoons and comics, are for children. Everyone knows that.

(George W Bush apparently gets an exception.)

Posted by K | June 11, 2008 4:04 PM

Like my main man Oscar the Grouch once said, if they can't take a joke, then funk 'em!

Anyway, all the truly cool kids know that
The Electric Company was way cooler than Sesame Street. I should know, I was there.

Eatin' scenery instead of snatch, natch!

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | June 11, 2008 4:07 PM

The Electric Company rocked, especially in Math.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 11, 2008 4:12 PM

No, Comte, they don't only happen in Seattle. But the other places they happen are cultural backwaters like Spokane, or Peoria, or Birmingham, Alabama. Seattle has aspirations to be a bigger, better place than that -- but these things do NOT happen in bigger, better places. Seattle is in many ways Boise pretending to be San Francisco.

Posted by Fnarf | June 11, 2008 4:25 PM

Well Fnarf, how do you know that the offended folks weren't FROM Spokane or Boise, out for some shopping, dining and to see a show?

A good of friend of mine worked on the original production of Avenue Q off-broadway and on, and said they occasionally got complaints of indecency and frequently those people weren't residents of NYC.

Posted by Seriously | June 11, 2008 4:32 PM

@22: Uh, some people are narrow-minded or don't do their research in bigger cities too. I saw people in SF walk out of Shortbus shaking their heads and grumbling.

Posted by San FranBoisico | June 11, 2008 4:43 PM

Art usually reveals much more about the viewer than the artist(s).

Seattle will always be a rural metropolis.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | June 11, 2008 4:46 PM

You know, for being the "smartest" city in America, there are a lot of stupid motherfuckers walking the streets.

I saw something like this during a David Cross performance at bumbershoot a few years ago, but he was showing a 30 foot vagina on the wall, and people were not warned. YOu can expect a walkout or two in that kind of situation. These fuckknobs bought tickets!

Alas, I will probably not be going to Avenue Q, as every single girl I know is already going. Even the one that just came back from the UK is already going. Goddammit. I really want to sing along with "The Internet is for Porn." I do the cookie monster voice so well.

Posted by wisepunk | June 11, 2008 4:48 PM

There was that incident at Mike Daisey's show, in New York I believe.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 11, 2008 5:03 PM

So in 2008, everywhere you go in America, it's Spokane.

Posted by Fnarf | June 11, 2008 5:03 PM

Ha! Reminds of my college days back in Pittsburgh, when we went to see "Hair". There was a whole row of nuns in front of us, and when things got kinky, out went the nuns!
Not sure why the hell they even went to see "Hair". Maybe they thought it was "Godspell."

Posted by Elizabeth | June 11, 2008 5:14 PM

FUCK YES I am going. And I'm dragging the wife with me, even though she will hate me for about a week once she gets "The Internet is for Porn" stuck in her head again.

Posted by Greg | June 11, 2008 5:16 PM

Don't the TV commercials pretty much go out of their way to let folks know that this show isn't for the kiddies? I can't imagine that the type of person who would attend this and then walk out *wouldn't* have seen them.

@28: So true. Spokane reminds me of any given mid-major Midwestern city. Oogy.

Posted by laterite | June 11, 2008 5:51 PM

@26: You're welcome to sing it to Slog Happy tomorrow. Everyone loves a good Cookie Monster voice.

Posted by Jessica | June 11, 2008 6:07 PM

Those drips who stormed out are probably the same ones who thought "Follies" was breathtaking.

Me, I sweared off productions at the Fifth Avenue after "Follies". But I didn't storm out.

Mind you, that was probably 15 years ago...

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | June 11, 2008 6:43 PM

I'm not going to Slog Happy unless this song is on the jukebox.

Posted by Cookie W. Monster | June 11, 2008 7:19 PM

I didn't really know what I was getting myself into; we went because my wife went to college with the guy who wrote the book. That said, this play is literally the first time I went to a play at the Paramount or the 5th Avenue that I didn't feel like theatre at that level was just a sold-out racket. This play was beautifully existential, remarkably intelligent, heartfelt without being manipulative and crass. I can't recommend it enough.

Posted by Scotto | June 11, 2008 8:42 PM

Maybe the people who rushed out had just been reminded about pussy-eating and couldn't wait to do it again.

Posted by rob | June 11, 2008 9:24 PM

Maybe they thought, "Ah, puppets singing about sex. That might have been a radical idea a decade or so ago, but hasn't it been done to death by now?"

Maybe you guys aren't selling it well and it's not mostly the cliche of taking a kids thing and making it be about sex and drugs, but it sounds like something I'd walk out of due to the giggling, "Look at me, I'm tweaking the noises of mainstream society," thing that has been done just way too often to still be interesting.

Posted by zzyzx | June 12, 2008 5:20 AM

I attended today's matinee performance with several friends, and we loved it! We were shocked, however, to see the family right in front of us, who brought their little boy who looked to be about ten years old. I can just imagine the questions he was asking after they left the theatre!

On a side note, we all want to know who the hot, woofy bear was who played the role of "Brian" today. He didn't appear to be any of the actors in the program!

Posted by Nick Literski | June 15, 2008 9:00 PM

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