Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Avenue Q" is excellent. Catch it if you can in Raleigh.

The Durham Bull Pen household has enjoyed several of the Broadway Series South shows in Raleigh lately. The touring companies do a stellar job (and we have seen several on Broadway in New York so we have at least some comparison ability). We agreed that the best we've seen so far from the Broadway Series South was Wednesday evening's "Avenue Q." Although "SpamaLot" was quite good too.

We previously noticed that the crowd is sort of mix of ages, but heavy on the Raleigh Junior League-y types with their sport-coated husbands. Season-pass goers, probably. I wondered as we filtered into the show how "Avenue Q" might be met by them. Having read about the show, and knew it was a hip, witty, but raunchy puppet show complete with bawdy songs and puppet sex, I was anxious to see the reaction. And looking forward to the show as well.

The show didn't disappoint. It was a delight, from the tremendously talented actors working the puppets to the brilliant songs they sang--some with lyrics edgy enough to make you squirm with recognition.

As the N&O's review noted here, there was a definite mix of reaction from the crowd. In fact, the well-coiffed couple seated in front of us left in a huff after the second song. That was fine by me, as it opened up our view to the stage quite nicely. Perplexing they didn't have the sense to look up a bit about the show, even from wiki where it's pretty clear the show is cutting edge. Be that as it may.

Not sure what we want to see next, but I did notice that Chicago is coming soon, and we recently caught the film Roxie Hart on television, so our interest is piqued.

To be perfectly honest, it has to be something pretty good to get us to drive to Raleigh, and these shows have been well worth it. It's only about 25 minutes from my door in central Durham, near downtown, to the parking deck at Memorial Hall/Progress Energy Center for the Perfoming Arts--how's that for a mouthful of a name? I do admit I enjoy the large fetching statue of Sir Walter Raleigh that greets us each time:

Looking forward to our own Durham Performing Arts Center to open here, just a couple of miles away.


Antoinette Perry's Ghost said...

Topol is slated to be in "Fiddler on the Roof" in Durham, which has me thinking maybe I should see it.

toastie said...

I was planning to get a $25 ticket on Sunday. I've listened to the CD a bunch of times. I can see how some of the usual theater crowd would be taken aback by the uncouth hilarity of Avenue Q. I take it that couple didn't stay for Trekkie Monster's ode to porn.

Durham Bull Pen said...

Toastie: Let me know how you like it after you go on Sunday! Alas, the couple that left in a snit didn't make to Trekkie Monster's ode to porn, nor to "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want."

I think my favorites were "I Wish I Could Go Back to College" and "The More You Love Someone (The More You Want to Kill Them)."

Anonymous said...

Toastie, Michael from The Bull in Full and I all went to see this on Sunday evening. It was FANTASTIC. It was so very wrong in so very right a way. Thanks for posting about it - your post convinced me that I needed to get off my bum and just go.

toastie said...

The show was indeed great. There's so much that you don't experience just listening to the CD. Some parts are flat-out hilarious. And the sap in me loves "It's a Fine, Fine Line". The audience seemed to embrace the show, for the most part; didn't see anyone leave. I'm tempted to get a t-shirt that says, "It sucks to be me," but I don't want to spend $25 for one.

Durham Bull Pen said...

etselec and Toastie: Glad you all found it hilarious too! Sounds like maybe the weekend crowd was less uptight than the crowd during the week. I still laugh thinking about the show. How about those "Bad Idea Bears"--too funny!

Spinning Ninny said...

I went last weekend. It was excellent and even the older and rather conservative looking audience members seemed to be amused at the brazen humor. I too am waiting for Chicago!