Western Courier

Intentional offensive, hilariously honest Avenue Q

Baylee Brynteson, Courier Staff

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WIU’s department of theater and dance put on the musical Avenue Q last week and it was a huge hit! The raunchy, sexy, hilarious show about nding ones purpose is sure to have made a huge impact on anyone who went and saw it. The cast, which includes monsters, puppets and humans, take you on a wild journey of what its like to live on Avenue Q.

The director of Western’s version of this musical was DC Wright, who is the head of Movement and stage combat here at the university.

In the shows program there is a director’s note stating “This show is intentionally offensive by design, and we really leaned into that idea with our production. We hope you enjoy!”

While this warning may seem silly, this show is far from politically correct, so the warning is necessary.

The show starts off with Princeton, who was played by Matt Bender. A newly graduated 22-year-old who had a B.A. in English.

This is the main dilemma of the second song in the show titled “ What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?” Straight and to the point, this song is exactly what the title says. Bender portrayed Princeton (who is a puppet) with charisma and passion.

Something very unique about this particular show is that most of the characters are puppets. This means that you see the actor holding the puppet while on stage, the actors themselves are dressed in all black but they are singing and speaking with the puppet.

This is not ventriloquism, you can see their expressions and action, but funny enough, you really end up focusing on the actual puppet character rather than the actor, which is also a compliment to the casts amazing talents.

This show, as pointed out before, is quite offensive and politically incorrect. Songs and topics range from “It Sucks to Be Me,” a song where everyone is complaining about why their lives suck so much, to “If You Were Gay,” “The Internet is for Porn” and “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.”

All these songs have more than unsavory topics, but the cast of WIU’s production left the audience laughing so hard they were gasping for air.

Some main characters of this show include Kate Monster, played by Annie Etchison. Monster is a quiet, and somewhat shy kindergarten aid with a dream of opening a special school just for monsters. Christmas Eve, played by Rosalind Blume, is a loud, slightly abusive, in your face “Japanese” women who lives on Avenue Q with her fiancé Brian who is played by Logan Edris.

Of course, Gary Coleman is a character in this musical, played by Nissi Smith. Smith did a hilarious job portraying the character with a twist because she is a female and Coleman’s character was originally a man.

This entire show was so well put together and made audience die from laughter and shock. The entire cast did an incredible job of portraying each character with humor and emotion. Avenue Q isn’t for everyone but it sure is a show you will never forget.

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Intentional offensive, hilariously honest Avenue Q