If you were to mash up Sesame Street with Master of None, what would you get?
Probably something like Avenue Q, a Broadway musical about life after college. Puppets and their human neighbors search for love, careers and their purpose in life. We’ve been following the SUNY Oneonta production of Avenue Q from audition night in November to opening night in April. Here is what we’ve seen.
On a cold night in November, students come one by one to Goodrich Theater to try out for this bizarre, funny musical, which one student calls “Sesame Street on crack.” The next night, a dozen top performers are called back to sing songs from the musical together, while director Drew Kahl listens intensely. A few hours later, Kahl posts the final cast list in the hall outside the theater.
Voice conditioning, puppet training and set design make for months of long rehearsals and little sleep. Cast and production crew work hand in hand creating the visual elements of Avenue Q.
Puppet-maker and theatre major Shadow LaValley explains how to bring fabric and cardboard to life.
Opening night is less than three weeks away, and some actors don’t know all their lines, especially in Act II. Most of the puppets are ready, but three versions of Kate Monster are still in the puppet shop.
The moment is here and the cast rises to the occasion. Backstage there are some jitters, but from the house, the show looks and sounds fabulous. Here’s how one song, There’s A Fine, Fine Line, sung by Kate Monster, progressed from audition night to opening night.