Everybody grew up on Sesame Street. But what happens when Sesame Street grows up?
That’s the concept of the irreverent musical comedy, Avenue Q, a 2003 Tony Award winning Broadway production which Lethbridge Theatre company Hatrix Theatre will be bringing to the stage in May.
“ We’ve done irreverent productions before like The Evil Dead and Spamalot, which was a comedy, but which also had poignant moments,” said director Brian Quinn noting Spamalot and Avenue Q are two musicals he’s most wanted to put on in Lethbridge. As of May he will have done both.
So the local theatre company is looking for at least 14 good men and women to bring the show to the stage beginning with auditions, Nov. 26 at the Moose Hall.
The musical combines three human actors with 11 puppets and a lot of hard hitting comedy.
“They aren’t the actual Sesame Street characters, so there's no Bert or Ernie or Cookie Monster or Oscar the Grouch, but they are definitely inspired by Sesame Street,” said director Brian Quinn adding the production will appeal to a lot of different people, particularly university students and recent graduates who will be able to identify with the sentiments of the production.
“The principal character Princeton has just graduated with a BA in English and sings a song ‘What Do You Do With a BA In English.’ He just graduates and doesn’t have a job yet so he moves to a lower income part of the city based on tenement flats in big cities- Avenue Q,” Quinn continued adding he meets all kinds of interesting characters there.
“ This definitely isn’t Guys and Dolls,” said Quinn adding the play is meant for mature audiences as it explores some pretty prevalent issues like racism, sex, relationships, Internet porn and many other issues.
“ We won’t be casting anyone under the age of 18. Though people under 18 can attend the show. It shouldn’t be up to me to make that decision. That’s up to the parents,” he said.
For example a discussion be about whether the characters Kate Monster and Trekkie Monster are related inspires a song called “Everybody’s a Little Bit Racist.”
“It isn’t the idyllic world of Sesame Street,” Quinn continued.