/

TOKYO

Can you tell me how to get to ‘Avenue Q’?

by Nobuko Tanaka

In March 2003, “Avenue Q” opened at the Vineyard Theatre in New York as one of dozens of off-Broadway productions. Audiences described the show as quirky, cute and unique, and within five months it moved to Broadway and won three Tony Awards — including the best musical for that year.

The hype created a lot of buzz for “Avenue Q” in the United States, Britain, Australia and Brazil. Last year, the show ended its Broadway run, but it still continues as an off-Broadway production.

What makes “Avenue Q” so unique is its surprising cast. For example, if you wait at the stage door to get autographs, you will only be able to get half of them to give them to you. Why only half? That’s because, the rest of the cast are puppets — similar to the Muppets made famous by Jim Henson and used on TV shows such as “Sesame Street” — and they act on stage alongside their puppet masters.

While “Avenue Q” is quite the Muppet show, the musical is not appropriate for children as the story includes sexual content. The story centers on Princeton, a young man coming of age in New York City, and involves a romantic storyline.

It’s not a kid’s show, but the writers say it should entertain teenagers with adult jokes and colorful songs.

“Avenue Q” continues through Dec. 26 at the Tokyo International Forum in Chiyoda Ward. There will be no shows on Dec. 20-21. Tickets cost ¥5,800-¥9,800. For reservations, call (0570) 064-708 (Japanese) or e-mail ticket_english@kyodotokyo.com (English). For more information, visit www.AveQ.jp.