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If I only have 3 words to describe the 2004 Tony Award Musical "Avenue Q" (book by Jeff Whitty, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx) it will be 'CUTE', 'CRUDE' and 'SMART'.
For most of my life, musicals have always been along the likes of composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber and large scale song and dance. They were grand, spectacular and breathtaking! What "Avenue Q" offered, with it's comic take on 'life' through puppets was like a breath of fresh air!

I knew about the musical when in debuted in 2003. FINALLY it has made its round into Singapore after Manila. The Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) will be joined by Carla Guevara (of "Miss Saigon" fame), together with Aiza Seguerra, Joel Trinidad, Frenchie Dy, Rycharde Everley, Tenee Chan and Felix Rivera in it 1st ever run in our little conservative island.

As soon as I heard wind of the performance months back, I secured preview day stall tickets! Woohoo!

Avenue Q Cast

Similar to the award-winning (and unfortunately now ended) sitcom "Seinfeld," it manages to humorously exploit some of the more trivial aspects of day-to-day life; this time in a neighbourhood much like Sesame Street. It's a parody, irreverent and off the wall!

That's the delicious central conceit that infuses every element of ''Avenue Q,'' from its bright but gritty ''Sesame'' streetscape of a set (designed by Anna Louizos, and deftly scaled up for Broadway) to its archly educational animated segments, which parse words and phrases like ''commitment'' and ''one-night stand'' on video screens on either side of the stage.

But it is in its songs and performances that ''Avenue Q'' plays most piquantly on the contrasts between the world according to children's television and the reality of adult life. The nature of the twinkly songs, unfailingly tuneful and disgustingly irresistible, can be deduced from their titles: ''Everyone's a Little Bit Racist,'' ''Schadenfreude'' and ''The Internet Is for Porn''.

There's something about the puppets, they can be so rude... so imperfect... but there's still a soft spot. They're like babies with bright goggle eyes! So easily forgiven!

At the heart of "Avenue Q" is a story for the search of the 'purpose in life', failures, sex and all our general pettiness. The main characters of Princeton, Kate Monster, Lucy (a more babe-alicious and decidedly less uptight variation on Miss Piggy), Nicky and Rod (à la Ernie and Bert), Trekkie Monster (a brown version of Cookie Monster), the wannabe comedian Brian, his Japanese fiancée, Christmas Eve, as well as the landlord, a has-been actor named Gary Coleman (from the different strokes) speaks of adult-size issues: repressed sexuality, unemployment, racism and depression. Replace the 'Q' to any other name and you'd realise that the story and characters are very much a reflection to anyone of us.

After the melodic, witty, hilarious and toe-tapping tunes are over, we take home a lesson worth the cost of a college education. That, while good intentions and true love triumph, "Avenue Q" doesn't conclude on a sentimental note. "Everyone's a little bit unsatisfied," the puppets tell us, but "life goes on."

Listen to Song snippets of "Avenue Q"

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