Not all puppet shows are for children

AVENUE Q is the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who comes toaveq05.jpg New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighborhood in his price range is Avenue Q; still, the neighbors seem nice. There’s Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fianceé Christmas Eve; Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his roommate Rod — a Republican investment banker who seems to have some sort of secret; an Internet addict called Trekkie Monster; and a very cute kindergarten teaching assistant named Kate. And would you believe the building’s superintendent is Gary Coleman?!Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life (taken from the Avenue Q website).

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Don’t be fooled by the innocent-looking puppets. They’re not for GP! Two puppets fornicated, one is into heavy internet porn, and oh well, you get the idea. Winner of the 2004 Tony award for Best Musical, among many other awards, Avenue Q is not your usual stage fare. For one thing, puppets and people share the stage, and get equal attention. The credits go to Atlantis Productions for bringing it here. Maybe it helped that one of the creators, Robert “Bobby” Lopez is 3/8 Filipino (or so he claimed in his well-written letter which made it into the playbill; he wrote that he was “brown on the outside, white on the inside”).

Weeks ago, Ian my officemate lent me his sister’s Avenue Q album, allowing me to listen to it while writing this post. (This guy warned me when he handed me the CD, “Beng, you might want to listen to this before you watch.” Haha, after watching, I understood the reason for the concern). There are some singable, or at least, hummable, songs. But as for the other songs, I’d blush even by the mere mention of their titles here! Be forewarned, most of these songs are peppered with profanity, chairman La Guardia wouldn’t let these songs be aired on the radio.

Very adult is this musical’s treatment of issues as drinking, racism, homosexuality, one’s search for significance (or “purpose” as they termed), and many others in between. Watching snippets of the real “world” is jolting in a way. Like being splashed with cold water after you’ve mouthed the idealistic mantra, “Life is all good, we all have perfect lives.” Or put in another way, Avenue Q gives you a solid knock on the head, then tickles you to laughter to help you recover from the blow. It’s not all laughter though. What girl will not turn pensive when she hears Kate Monster sing about her broken heart? Let me end with the lyrics of “There’s a fine, fine line”: kate-monster.jpg



Kate Monster:
There’s a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;
There’s a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;
And you never know ’til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.

There’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

There’s a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there’s a fine, fine line between “You’re wonderful” and “Goodbye.”
guess if someone doesn’t love you back it isn’t such a crime,
But there’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of your time.

And I don’t have the time to waste on you anymore.
I don’t think that you even know what you’re looking for.
For my own sanity, I’ve got to close the door
And walk away…

There’s a fine, fine line between together and not
And there’s a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got.
You gotta go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime…

There’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

8 Responses to “Not all puppet shows are for children”
  1. Gypsy says:

    A fine line, eh? Hmm…I guess whether you are a lady puppet or a real live woman, some “issues” remain the same. 😉

  2. snglguy says:

    Fornicating puppets. Hmm… that is one for the books, hehe. Anyways I read about this play a couple of months ago, and wondered if it’s going to be shown here. Thanks to this post I don’t have to… wonder, that is. 😉

  3. karina says:

    still, it’s a bit difficult reading between the lines…:P

  4. bengalba says:

    Hi Gypsy, I agree. My friends elbowed me when that song was being sung. Maybe it’s really a familiar refrain that crosses, hmmm, species? haha. I’ve been humming and thinking of this song.

    Hi Singlguy, yup, it’s still showing. Gibbs wrote about the musicale much earlier than I did. In the US, it’s such a big hit that celebrities, and even Bill Clinton and family, watched it on Broadway.

    Hi Karina, the fine line between reality and pretend, lover and friend, sometimes is smudged that when you stand back and look, you’re not sure which side you’re actually on. I guess that’s a signal for you to weigh: is this love or just a waste of time?

  5. bernadette says:

    Hi, beng! My two cents’ thought again :-)—there really is no waste of time. It all boils down to garnering wisdom. We always try to make the best choices possible but then for other people we may have wasted our time. Looking back on my “wastages” I can only say everything was worth it—even the feeling of “why haven’t I done otherwise!” There is a fine line between bitterness and acceptance. Between boxing oneself up and freeing oneself to move on in JOY! And this is only possible through looking inwards and communicating with one’s God!

  6. bengalba says:

    Hi Ate Bernadette, thanks for your two cents’ worth of wisdom. 🙂 I know that later on, with the benefit of perspective, I could say the same things: There is NO wasted time. Trusting God with my heart, and time. 🙂

  7. Exene says:

    Gahhh i must watch this show but I don’t have any cash.

  8. bengalba says:

    Hi Exene, you’re based in LA, right? Dito kasi sa Manila tapos na eh. You might still have time to catch it there , and still have some time to save. 🙂

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