Friday, September 07, 2007
Music, lights, puppets!
Quick, what images come to mind when I say PUPPET? Do you see Sesame Street? Muppets? The Lonely Goatherd from Sound of Music ("those were marionettes not puppets!")? Sherri the Lamb? Candice Bergen's father and his ventriloquist act? Maybe it's time to update your mental paradigms. And if you like Broadway musicals, award winning ones at that, then it's time to head to the Carlos P. Romulo Theater at the RCBC Plaza in Makati for the latest Atlantis Productions performance of AVENUE Q!
The plot of Avenue Q is spotted with the urban grittiness of Big Apple living. However, many of the themes are downright hometime hokey: it’s a boy who loves a girl, she loves him, but he’s trying to find purpose in life (what a schmuck). There’s a boy who loves his roommate, but can’t tell him, so ends up throwing him out of the apartment. There’s a monster who knows the basic truths in life (sex and money), but is misunderstood. And there’s Gary Coleman.
The show and the music are an experience and one doesn’t want to spoil any of the plotlines. So let’s share some highlights: look out for the wonderful performances that make you pause and think "am I reacting to the puppet or the actor?", the darn good singing from most of the cast (a few weak links won’t spoil the broth except for the overly picky), moments of feeling transported back to childhood/young adulthood/actually most of life’s roller coaster moments throughout the show, and laughter that won't stop till that last encore. With a few exceptions, the songs are going to at least make you smile (come on, let me see those corners of the lips lift a bit); hopefully the more sensitive and easily offended stay away. This is not for the prissy and prim. It’s on the poster – full frontal puppet nudity. But there’s also raunchy lyrics, profanity, and well, promiscuity. Plus dangerous monetary behavior that nearly beheads someone (how Shakespearean!).
Keep an eye out for small moments: the playbill that Gary Coleman is looking through, references to classic movie moments, the digs against establishment and Tom Cruise.
Bravo to the cast, I loved Rachel Alejandro and Joel Trinidad’s double trouble efforts. I loved the pastel neon zaftig of Frenchie Dy's cake of a wedding dress; it reminded me of an over the top event I attended as a child. And I want a mini Trekkie Monster!
Go watch a musical today!
(Avenue Q is on a limited run of 12 shows from September 7 to 23, at the RCBC Plaza's Carlos P. Romulo Theater, Makati. Bobbie Garcia and Chari Arespacochaga codirect for Atlantis Productions.)