On Sunday, January 27 the Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) ended their run of AVENUE Q at the North Star Theater in Mandeville, LA. AVENUE Q was once described to me as "Sesame Street for big people," and I do not think I have heard a more accurate description. The cast is made up of people and puppets, and includes very adult content. While there are many good lessons to be learned from this show, it is not for the easily offended. It takes sensitive subjects such as racism and homosexuality, and makes light of them in a blunt and honest way. The language is also inappropriate for younger audiences, so this is not something to bring the kids to see.
This show is about a recent college graduate, Princeton, who moves to Avenue Q in search of a job, a place to live, and his purpose in life (a recurring theme throughout the show). What he finds is a group of misfit neighbors, humans and monsters alike, who help him along in his journey.
What is surprising about this show is that while it is filled with brilliantly funny songs such as "It Sucks to Be Me," "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist," and "I Wish I Could Go Back to College," it speaks truth about the realities of post-college life. Post-grads often wonder what they are supposed to do with the degree they have earned, if there is some sort of grand plan for their life, where they are to find love, how to afford their rent and other bills, and ultimately what will bring the most satisfaction to their lives.
The show's finale, "For Now," addresses the fact that we can search forever for our purpose, but we should not forget to live in the present and enjoy it. Sometimes we may have to take a job that we are not crazy about just to pay the bills, but nothing is permanent. And, it makes us realize that it's ok to be a little bit unsatisfied. We just need to make the most of what we've got, and be thankful for the people in our lives who are there to help us through.
The following made up the cast for this particular production of AVENUE Q:
Scott Sauber - Princeton
Katie Coplen Bourg - Kate Monster
Robert Facio - Rod & Trekkie Monster
Dwayne Sepcich, Jr. - Nicky & Bad Idea Bear
Bryce Huey Turgeon - Brian
Anna Toujas - Christmas Eve
Whitney Nicole Mixon - Gary Coleman
Allee Peck - Lucy The Slut, Bad Idea Bear, & Ms. Thistletwat
Congrats to the cast and production team for a successful performance!
Coming next from JPAS is THE FULL MONTY, which will have a four day run at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center in Metairie, LA and one night at the Columbia Theatre in Hammond, LA. Contact the JPAS box office at (504) 885-2000 or visit their website at www.jpas.org.