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The Boston Globe

Theater & art


Lyric Stage makes ‘Avenue Q’ feel like home

Avenue Q is, in one way or another, the street where we all live. That’s the premise of the 2004 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical inspired by “Sesame Street.” True, we didn’t all graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in English literature, move to a New York City apartment building where Gary Coleman is the superintendent, and get downsized out of our jobs before we could even start work — which is what happens to young Princeton at the outset of “Avenue Q.” But we can all relate to a story about hard economic times and difficult personal relationships. And in the Lyric Stage Company production, it’s hard to say who’s cuter and more lovable, the puppets or the humans.

The unusual thing about “Avenue Q” is its mixed cast: 10 puppets (upper body only, no legs or feet) and three humans. Princeton, a puppet, has just arrived at 691 Avenue Q, where he decides, after losing his job, that “It Sucks to Be Me.” He’s not alone. Schoolteacher Kate Monster hates being assistant to Mrs. T; she’s hoping to start her own school for monster children, Kate’s Monsterssori. Nicky suspects his roommate, Republican investment banker Rod, is gay, and he’s OK with that; Rod replies to this assurance with an unconvincing tale of “My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada.”

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