Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mini Review: Avenue Q

As I briefly mentioned in my previous post, I spent the last two weeks of summer 2013 in the United States of America! To make it even more exciting, my American trip included a little visit to Canada. Apart from all my belongings being investigated by the border control, I had a very nice day in Vancouver, British Columbia.

And what trip to Canada is complete without seeing some musical theatre? Not mine. I got to see Avenue Q, performed by Arts Club Theatre Company at Granville Island Stage.

It's a shame Canada is so far away from Finland. Based on this sneak peek of the Canadian musical theatre scene, I fell in love already!

I wonder if it makes much sense for me to review Avenue Q performances. It seems the character voices and performances always follow certain patterns, no matter which production. Being a new fan of the musical, however, I'm afraid I can't really compare this cast to any others. But even so, I can safely to say the Canadian cast was all-around brilliant, all seven cast members were such talented singers and performers! I especially admired Scott Bellis, who played Nicky, Trekkie Monster and one of the Bad Idea Bears. How is it even possible he can change his voice completely like that when changing characters?

As for the musical itself – the first act was some of the best musical theatre I've ever seen, really. I had of course heard many of the songs before, so it was great seeing them in context. And all the scenes were so funny! I don't think I stopped smiling for a second during the first half, it was that much fun.

The second half, then, disappointed me. I don't remember seeing a script run out of steam during the second act as badly as Avenue Q's did. The second act felt almost like an unnecessary add. I felt the charity drive subplot and the ending wasn't in line with the mood of the first half, and most of the songs weren't as memorable either.

My gripes about the script, or course, nothing to do with the brilliant cast, nor does the second act diminish the funny moments of the first one. I would see this again just for the first act – if I were Canadian, that is. Even though the second half drags, the first one is clever and funny enough to lift the whole thing well above average. Not to mention the all-around enjoyable performances!

This production is still playing for four nights. If you're in Vancouver at the moment: go go go!

Avenue Q has also been done in Finland, but it seems no material of that production has survived. But here's something that happened quite close, geographically, and amuses me quite a lot... Avenue Q's Swedish cast performs Om du var gay:


  1. Hi there! I just found a blog party invitation on Miss Dashwood's blog and I thought you might be interested to join because it's a Celebrate Musicals Week party! It takes place 23.-28.9. and you'll find all the info you need here: I'm going to take part though I haven't quite decided yet what my musical for the week will be :)

    1. Thanks for the tip, that seems fun! I don't know if I'll have the time to participate, though – I'm quite busy with school now, what with the beginning of new semester and such... But I'll consider it! :D