Since Ave Q is fashioned after Sesame Street, an educational show aimed at adults instead of children, we’re taking a look at some of the lessons we learn from the show!
College Does Not Prepare You for Real Life
With songs like “What Do You Do with a B. A. in English?” and “I Wish I Could Go Back to College,” Avenue Q lyrics portray higher education as an extended stay in the carefree Land of Adolescence.
Princeton’s main conflict is that he is drifting through life, trying to discover his true purpose. One would hope that college would establish this sense of purpose (or at least a sense of self-sufficiency), but the puppet croons to the contrary:
“I can’t pay the bills yet / ‘Cause I have no skills yet. / The world is a big scary place.”
The ensemble of characters, both human and monster, wistfully recall the days when they lived in a dormitory with a meal plan, a time when if things got too difficult they could just drop a class or seek an academic advisor’s guidance.
The Freedom to Find Our Own Purpose
Princeton decides that he should seek his purpose in life. At first his quest for meaning is guided by superstition. He finds a penny from the year he was born and considers it a supernatural sign. However, after a couple a false-start relationships and a dead-end job or two, he realizes that discovering one’s purpose and identity is a difficult, never-ending process (but an invigorating process if one chooses to make it so). When Princeton laments, “I don’t even know why I’m alive,” his girlfriend Kate Monster replies, “Who does, really?”
There Are No Selfless Deeds
Perhaps there are good deeds, according to Avenue Q, but there seem to be no purely selfless deeds. When Princeton decides to help one of his friends, he does so because it feels good to help others, thereby rewarding himself.
The lyrics from Avenue Q’s “Money Song” explain, “Every time you do good deeds / You’re also serving your own needs. / When you help others / You can’t help helping yourself.”
Very much in the style of Sesame Street, Avenue Q offers feel-good melodies complete with educational lyrics. Of course, the life-lessons in Avenue Q have a very cynical edge. But they do instill compassion and acceptance, such as when the roommate puppets (patterned after Bert and Ernie) sing, “If You Were Gay.”
Heterosexual puppet Nicky tries to help the sexually repressed puppet Rod come out of the closet. He sings, “If you were queer / I’d still be here / Year after year / Because You’re Dear To Me.”
These are just a few of the important life lessons Ave Q teaches us, all while making us laugh! For more learning and more laughs, make sure you get your tickets now to see Dominion’s Ave Q!
Directed by Christopher Thorn
Music Directed by John Michael d’Haviland
Choreographed by Amanda Cane
Puppet Mastered by Marianne Meyers
All Performances at Gunston Theatre One
2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington VA 22206
Friday, Jan 11@ 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan 12 @ 8 p.m.
Thursday, Jan 17 @ 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan 18 @ 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan 19 @ 8 p.m.
Thursday, Jan 24 @ 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan 25 @ 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan 26 @ 8 p.m
TICKETS NOW ON SALE!
Music and Lyrics, Original Concept, Animation Design by ROBERT LOPEZ
Music and Lyrics, Original Concept by JEFF MARX
Book by JEFF WHITTY
Winner of the TONY® “TRIPLE CROWN” for BEST MUSICAL, BEST SCORE and BEST BOOK, AVENUE Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart. AVENUE Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named PRINCETON who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets KATE (the girl next door), ROD (the Republican), TREKKIE (the internet sexpert), LUCY THE SLUT (need we say more?), and other colorful types who help PRINCETON finally discover his purpose in life!
More Info – www.DominionStage.org