A dramaturgical exploration of Olney Theatre Center's 2014 production
Puppets are sexy. They are fun. They are provocative. Some are beautiful. Others, grotesque. But most importantly, they allow audiences an opportunity to escape into a world otherwise unknown. They allow stories that may otherwise remain untold, to be shared, as puppets can do things that humans cannot. These are the facts.
“Puppetry is a completely controllable means to attack your characters in every possible way. The artist has the possibility to create a much larger landscape with puppetry. The human becomes more human in that sense.”
Last year, the University of Utah’s Department of Theatre opened Avenue Q at the Babcock Theatre. This video feature focuses on master puppeteer and actor Jennifer Barnhart, an original cast member of the Broadway run of Avenue Q.
Feeling some nagging tug of déjà vu? It’s entirely possible. Some 40 years ago, another idealistic young man on another Broadway stage sang exactly the same lyrics, and has continued to do so in innumerable revivals ever since.
But that was Tony, the starry-eyed hero of the breakthrough musical ”West Side Story.” And Tony is not to be confused with Princeton, the starry-eyed hero of ”Avenue Q,” which is a breakthrough musical of a very different stripe. After fervently anticipating the good things of the future, Tony went on to fall deeply and unconditionally in love, kill his girlfriend’s brother and die violently, leaving an exceedingly pretty corpse, all within a matter of days.