If Sesame Street was your thing as a kid, then Avenue Q may be right up your, well, street.
A hit on Broadway when it debuted in 2003, the production is arriving at the Sunderland Empire this week.
Billed as a ‘coming of age satire’ the characters - many of whom are of a puppet nature, complete with unconcealed puppeteers - are struggling to reconcile the view of the world they were given as children, when they were assured by their parents - and by television programs like the aforementioned Sesame Street - that they were ‘special’ and ‘could do anything’, with their real life experiences as adults.
Originally conceived as a television series, the show was developed as a stage production and promptly won three Tony Awards following its Broadway premiere run, including Best Musical, before spawning Las Vegas and West End productions, two national tours, and a variety of international incarnations.
The story centres around recent college graduate Princeton, who moves to Avenue Q filled with hopes and dreams and in search of his purpose in the world.
What he finds though is Gary Coleman fixing the toilets, girl next door Kate Monster and her unfulfilled dreams for a Monsterssori school, internet sexpert Trekkie Monster and closet gay Republican Rod.
These funny, fuzzy characters teach Princeton about real life in a mixture of flesh, felt and heart.
David Hutchinson is the artistic director at Sell A Door Theatre Company, which specialises in work aimed at young adults and teens and which is producing this touring production of Avenue Q,
He said “I have every faith that this parable, which so cleverly pokes fun at the issues young people face going into adulthood, will strike a chord with audiences up and down the country.”
Avenue Q plays the Sunderland Empire from July 14 to 16. For tickets, visit www.atgtickets.com/sunderland . Suitable for audiences 14+