Puppet Show For Big Kids! Here on Avenue Q!!!

Photo 1

[all photos in this post courtesy of Mercury Theater Chicago, with huge thanks from The Chicago Files!]

[photo above:  Gary Coleman, Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Lucy, Brian]

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to, “AVENUE Q”!!!

It is not often that one gets to experience the wonder and excitement of a live puppet show that is not designed for the kiddo, teen, tween (whatever that is!), and everyone in between! That, my dear readers, changed for me about a week ago!

Winner of three Tony awards in 2003 which included, “Best Musical”, “Avenue Q” spent six years on Broadway before it meandered its way onto stages literally around the globe.  On April 23rd of this year, Mercury Theater Chicago opened its stage doors to people and puppets alike for its Chicago production of Avenue Q.  The enduring laughter was so profound that the show has extended its stay until October 26th.

Photo 2

[photo above:  Princeton, Brian, Gary Coleman, Christmas Eve, Kate Monster]

As a child, did you have your wee nose pressed against the television whenever, “Sesame Street” adorned the screen?  I most certainly did, and for that reason, Avenue Q takes on an added layer of admiration, as if it wasn’t already a phenomenal production in and of itself.  Nonetheless, whether you were a Sesame Street spectator or not, Avenue Q captivates its audiences with a perpetuation of clever and gratifying charm second to none.

Avenue Q’s storyline is situated on the premise that, as a young adult, what do you do with your life?  Trials and tribulations of entering adulthood are superbly explored in this production.  The characters express their childhood beliefs, versus the reality of their, “grownup” lives.  Bills must be paid, rent is due, how do I get a job, what can I do?  The beliefs and attitudes they held as children, such as, “I can do anything”, “I am special”, come to a screeching halt once the actuality of adult life has kicked in.

As his college dorm is swapped for less than divine digs, “Princeton”,  our primary puppet pal, becomes newly acquainted with his soon-to-be best pals and neighbors.  Archetypal roles are seamlessly fulfilled as we are introduced to the principal puppets and people:

Ah, Trekkie Monster, a rather notable character with strikingly similar, um, “fur texture” to that of the, “Cookie Monster” of Sesame Street fame; however, Trekkie is addicted to Internet porn; Kate Monster, who is the cute, sweet, and rather insecure “monster”, I mean, “girl” who dreams of opening a school for monsters; there is Nicky, whose character is likened to that of,  “Ernie”, the not-so motivated half of the, “Bert and Ernie” duo from Sesame Street fame; wait, who could forget about, “Lucy”; she’s a good-time, get-around floozy, bless her!  Added to the puppet parade are a couple of, “Bad Idea Bears”; these “wolves” in “bear” clothing love to, “stir it up”, as it were, notably to already vulnerable and easily swayed souls.

Photo 3

[photo above:  Kate Monster, Princeton]

Regarding the people portion of the program, there is Brian, a funny guy who wants to bring it to the stage; his Japanese fiancée, “Christmas Eve”, who, sadly, is a therapist desperate for a client (or two); Rod is a tie-sporting, serious Republican (and the roommate of, “Nicky”; there’s that, “Ernie and Bert” acknowledgment) who feels he has to hide the real Rod; Gary Coleman, (who plays a building superintendent) named after the actor in “real-life” who was a very successful child star, but lost his money reportedly to the underhanded ways of family members.

The interplay between puppet and people characters was superb; the puppets were treated as people, and the people who operated the puppets aligned their facial expressions with those of the puppets; or was it the other way round? In any case, whether the puppet was being masterfully expressed by hand or by rods, every move was flawlessly executed by its puppet partner.

And the music! Did I mention the music? Every single performer was stellar; I laughed to such tunes as, “It Sucks to Be Me”; What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?”; and my favorite, “There Is Life Outside Your Apartment”.  Although unseen, the musicians were certainly heard; how enjoyable to know there were musicians performing live for our puppet and people players!  Although I cannot be completely positive, there might have been a puppet (or two?) at the keyboard.  My only comment is, “Why not?”

Photo 5

[photo above:  Princeton]

The set was easily a snapshot of a, “not so posh” neighborhood in New York City.  There again, taking its “Q” *grin* from Sesame Street fame.

I utterly loved this entire show.  From the puppets to the set design, from the singing to the laughter in droves, I was thoroughly entertained the entire two hours of the performance (there was a 15-minute intermission; time to sample the chocolate for sale in the lobby; the Mercury Theater Chicago has thought of everything, if you ask me).

Photo 9

[photo above:  Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Brian, Christmas Eve]

I’m not going into anymore detail about the ‘wrap-up’ at the end of the performance, because quite frankly I do not want to spoil it for you.  Who knows, you just might find yourself being serenaded by a moppet with green, gangly fur, and a fuchsia lid to “top” it off!

Photo 11

[photo above:  Princeton and Kate Monster]

Photo 7

[photo above:  Kate Monster and Christmas Eve]

Mercury Theater Chicago has some exciting performances set to hit the stage after Avenue Q has taken its collective bow:  The Christmas Schooner, The Adams Family, just to name a couple that yours truly will most definitely be attending!  Here is their website:


Were I in a position of voting on, “Best Performance by Puppets in a Musical”, Avenue Q would receive, “10/10”.  I cannot say enough about the synergy of this entire musical.  The boy band, “‘N Sync” has nothing on these folks; it doesn’t get any more ‘in-sync’.  Guess what? I could tell that each performer absolutely loves what they are doing.  I could feel it; their energy resonated throughout the entire theater.  Now THAT is what I call magic in motion!!

  35 comments for “Puppet Show For Big Kids! Here on Avenue Q!!!

  1. September 22, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I’ve always wanted to see this…I heard it was funny but raw 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      It is fantastic!! Not for kiddos for sure!!! cher xo


  2. September 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Reblogged this on georgeforfun.


  3. September 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    How fun! I enjoy reading your review, i can feel how great it is!


    • September 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Oh thank you so much! Yes, I was absolutely entertained the entire time! What a terrific cast! Cher xo


  4. September 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Looks Brilliant 🙂 xxx


    • September 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Oh yes, Sue, it really is!! Cher xo


  5. September 22, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Wow! Cher, that sounded like a great performance!! 🙂


    • September 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Oh it was fantastic!! I am not surprised this musical originally won 3 Tony awards! This cast could have done it, too; they are amazing! Cher xo 🙂


      • September 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm

        I doubt they will come to Canada, but I believe I want them to! 🙂


      • September 22, 2014 at 5:53 pm

        You never know!!! I would love to hear that they are going to Canada, as I heard they have went to many countries already so Canada just might be on the list!! Cher xo


      • September 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm

        I’m going to routinely check then. Honest to goodness, Cherry, your post made me really want to check for it! Such enthusiasm! Not to mention that I love puppets! 🙂


      • September 22, 2014 at 8:35 pm

        Yeay! *LOL* It is THAT good! I would see it again in a second! Oh, I love puppets, too! And these are incredible puppets!! Cher xo


  6. September 23, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Oh what fun!


  7. September 23, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    How outrageously fun!!!


    • September 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      I couldn’t have said it better! Perfect, Donna!! Thank you! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. September 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    This looks such good fun, I wish I were there. Being relatively new as a Follow, I don’t know how much you have posted about theatre in Chicago. My daughter and son-in-law both work in the theatre there and my son-in-law is currently performing in Twopence Theatre Company’s production of Woman Beware Woman (Middleton) at The Den Theatre. As this is a Jacobean revenge tragedy, it is unlikely to provide you with the same kind of entertainment as the puppet show, but if you are a theatre-goer, or you know others who are, you could give it a whirl.


    • September 23, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Hilary! It really is a terrific musical! Oh that is wonderful about your daughter and son-in-law! I absolutely love theater (theatre!) and an so happy you told me about this! I love drama, comedy, Shakespeare, you name it. I would like to check into this further! Most intriguing!! Thank you!! Cher xo


      • September 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm

        Oh wow! I’ll be a bit braver then. My daughter Elly Green http://www.ellygreendirector.com has directed a lot of stuff in Chicago over the last two and a half years. If you saw the recent Henry V at the Chicago Shakespeare, she assistant directed that. Or maybe you saw the Tomkat Project in 2013? Or Rabbit? My son-in-law, Matt Pierce, is one of the villains in Woman Beware Woman, and he runs the box office for Theater on the Lake each summer and is involved with a lot of music http://www.youtube.com/user/choongroup. (Sorry about all my ‘theatres’ I try and remember it is theater – mind you spellcheck isn’t pleased.)


      • September 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

        Hilary, this is brilliant! Thank you so much for this wonderful information! I haven’t seen the productions you’ve listed, but I sure wished I had!! I am grinning ear to ear about this! Do you think your daughter would mind if I contact her? As a Canadian, I have to ‘double-check’ my spelling quite often! My mind says, “theatre”, but living in the U.S. I have to ‘flip the re’! *grin*


      • September 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

        I’m sure she’d be fine with that. I don’t think she has any plays on at the moment. It is readings and other job and script assessments. I’ll tell her about your website.


      • September 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm

        Thank you, Hilary! I would love to talk with her about her work! 🙂


  9. September 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    This is just fantastic. Great job. Hugs, Barbara


    • September 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Can I tell you that you just made my day? Thank you, dear Barbara!!! Hugs, Cher xo


      • September 25, 2014 at 12:55 am

        Cher, you are a joy to read. Hugs, Barbara


      • September 25, 2014 at 7:13 am

        Ah, Barbara, thank you much! Your words are so thoughtful and appreciated! Thank YOU!!! Hugs, Cher xo


      • September 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm

        Have a good weekend my friend. Hugs, Barbara


      • September 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm

        And to you as well! Thank you! Hugs, Cher xo


  10. September 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Quite a tour! Lovely!


    • September 24, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Thank you, Billy Ray! It was great fun! Cher xo


  11. September 28, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Cher, I felt like I was there! Your descriptions (and those photos – fantastic!) brought the whole play to life. Thanks for brightening my day. I needed that. Carol 🙂


    • September 29, 2014 at 8:01 am

      Ah, dear Carol! Thank you as always for your wonderful comments! I really, really appreciate them! It was such great fun, and this group of actors/singers is outstanding! I can see why this show won Tony Awards on Broadway! I hope you have a terrific! Cher xo


  12. Mary Michelle Scott
    September 29, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    You gave an amazing description of this play, and you really make me want to go see it 🙂 Thank-you for sharing it in such detail, I really enjoyed it!


    • September 29, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Thank you so much, Mary! It was great fun and being a ‘big kid’ seeing a puppet show was super!!! Cher xo


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