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Politically incorrect musical comedy
strikes several irreverent chords

"Avenue Q"
Bank of America Theatre
Chicago, IL
May 5, 2010
Avenue Q Avenue Q

Story by Andy Argyrakis
Publicity Photos

The set looks awfully suspicious to "Sesame Street," but "Avenue Q" is the equivalent to that famed PBS children's show on steroids or speed (or perhaps a bizarre combination of both). Nonetheless, the unbelievably irreverent musical is making a major name for itself thanks to politically incorrect comedy, naughty but instantly recognizable songs and a puppet-centered plot that could easily entice fans of "Monty Python," "The Simpsons" or "Family Guy."

Though there are real people in the show (and visible puppet operators as well), the plot centers around recent college graduate (and puppet) Princeton as he moves into his first apartment, hunts for a job and switches between a meaningful relationship and a fling, all while trying to find a greater purpose to his life. His furry pals include the Trekkie Monster (who instead of devouring cookies, consumes internet porn), along with the conspicuously Ernie and Bert-like Nicky and Rod (the latter of whom just so happens to be gay and has a crush on his roommate). Add in a human landlord named Gary Coleman (based on the "Diff'rent Strokes" child star) and two evil stuffed animals reminiscent of the "Care Bears," and it brilliantly mocks a myriad of pop culture characters, in turn, inciting roars of laughter at every dysfunctional turn.

To move along the action, there's a soundtrack of epic proportions including the so ridiculous they're remarkable "It Sucks To Be Me," "If You Were Gay," "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" and "The Internet Is for Porn." As silly as it all sounds, there are actually several lessons to be learned from this coming of age tale, starting with the magnitude friendships and romantic relationships can play in the overall dynamic of life.

And there's also a lesson to be learned about diversity, including the acceptance of everyone from former child stars to un-closeted puppets and those who've found religion in place of their previous revelry. As for Princeton, he doesn't wake up to a perfect life overnight, but throughout the journey his purpose is revealed, which is sure to inspire (in its own weird way) the audience to search for the same.

"Avenue Q" continues at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago through May 9. For additional details, visit or

Avenue Q

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