08 April 2010: EJ Thomas Hall, Akron, Ohio
Oh, wow. Avenue Q really missed its mark for us. It’s strange because we really enjoyed Spring Awakening, and Avenue Q covers much of the same ground, including sex, suicide, and becoming who you are. But there was something about the tone of Avenue Q that really just didn’t click.
Sure, Avenue Q’s premise is genius: take a look at life beyond Sesame Street, at that world through an adult lens, but the execution came off snarky, cynical, and tried to be a little too knowing. The puppet sex (and there was plenty) didn’t bother me like it did Tracy – her quote, “You don’t mess with Sesame Street and my childhood like that!” – my problem was that it just felt lazy. It felt like the writers threw all kinds of sex, talk about sex, and songs about sex, to make the show seem edgy.
The audience definitely skewed younger, and I would guess that if I had seen this show 15 years ago I might have had a more positive reaction to it. Instead, I find I identified and enjoyed a show like Spring Awakening much more than I did Avenue Q, despite the fact that Spring Awakening was much darker, dealt with characters even younger than those in Avenue Q, and was more explicit in its nudity (people v. puppets).
On the up-side, we had a great dinner out at Crave before the show. Tracy had a fantastic steak wrap with a side salad. I had a delicious pulled pork sandwich with thick sweet potato fries. It was a really great meal at one of Downtown Akron’s best eateries. And now we’re looking forward to the 2010-2011 Broadway in Akron season for a shot at redemption.