Full puppet nudity and strong language are just a couple of its trademarks — along with plenty of laughter.
The Early Edition's Rick Cluff spoke with actor Jeremy Crittenden, and his alter-ego Princeton about what life is like on Avenue Q. This is an edited and condensed version of that interview.
Jeremy, this show comes with a warning: full puppet nudity, and a description of excessive drinking. Avenue Q, what's it all about?
Avenue Q is sort of like Sesame Street. But it's for grown-ups. You're not really learning about numbers, and counting.
You're learning about not being able to pay your bills, you're learning about messing up your relationship, racism. The lessons are more mature than a show like Sesame Street.
Princeton, sounds like a great role. How did you land it?
I just kinda moved there when I got out of college, and well, all the adventures just kinda followed along!
Princeton, why don't you tell me what the show is about?
I moved to Avenue Q after college. I've got a B.A in English, and I've sort of realized I don't know what that's good for. So I'm trying to find my purpose in life.
I meet a lot of great people on Avenue Q, I learn some tough lessons, and in the end, you'll find out if I figure out what I'm looking for!
Jeremy, is it tough to work with a guy like Princeton?
He gets all the attention. And I like attention more than anything, so that's hard.
Princeton, how do you feel about upstaging Jeremy?
It's very, very easy to do. It doesn't take much effort to upstage this guy. Haha!
Jeremy, any connection between Avenue Q and Sesame Street?
A lot of people involved with the original Avenue Q on Broadway had varying degrees of experience with Sesame Street.
But I think the real connection when you're watching the show is the sense of nostalgia. You watch the show, and it all comes flooding back, that wonder that you saw watching real live humans interacting with puppet humans. And that's part of the charm of Avenue Q.
Is it hard to separate the serious from the comical?
I think if you play it all straight, and you play the story of these guys trying to figure out what they're doing in life, the comedy comes with it. The show is funny. We don't have to try and make it funny.
When you see two puppets having sex, that's really really funny.
Princeton, what exactly is that like?
Well, it's a lot of fun. Haha! You gotta come and see it. Rehearsal was a long day of trying all sorts of crazy things, but in the end we found something pretty special.
Jeremy, thanks for coming in. Princeton, lovely to meet you too. Break a leg, as they say.
Haha! I don't have any legs!
Avenue Qruns from Nov. 20, 2014 to Jan. 3, 2015 at the Arts Club's Granville Island Stage.