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Avenue Q at Phoenix Theatre

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Rock on to Avenue Q: Sesame Street for adults
Avenue Q, Sesame Street, puppets, Phoenix Theatre, musical, Dark Psychic Prodsuctions, comedy, performing arts, Hamilton Hill, Fremantle
Nikky (Ryan S. McNally), Rod (Andrew Dawson) and Jumper (Em Rose) are taking a naughty musical romp through the ABCs of life in Avenue Q. Picture: Sally Newman

A naughty musical romp through the ABCs of life – described as "Sesame Street for adults" – is the latest offering from Dark Psychic Productions. Directed by Jayde Clark at Phoenix Theatre, Avenue Q is an outrageous parody that is confronting while having a child-like direct and honest appeal.

The musical focuses on the life of Princeton, who finishes university and moves out into the big wide world. Renting an apartment in Avenue Q, he meets several others all searching for their purpose in life.

With songs including The Internet is for Porn, It Sucks To Be Me and I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today, the show won three Tony Awards in 2003 including best musical. It features 11 puppet and three human characters and is performed with the puppeteers visible, using several different types of puppets.

Avenue Q, Sesame Street, puppets, Phoenix Theatre, musical, Dark Psychic Productions, comedy, performing arts, Hamilton Hill, Fremantle
A love story emerges between Princeton (Darrèn Bilston, left) and Kate Monster (Danni Close) in Avenue Q. Picture: Sally Newman

"The combination of both human and puppet characters makes it okay to say and sing the crude humour present in the show," Jayde said. "Avenue Q is fun and wild with catchy songs that make you want to join in.

"It has hilarious, sad and 'OMG you just said that!' moments, which just made me want to bring this musical to life. The combination of different types of characters and amazing music makes you want to be involved in the show."

Avenue Q, Sesame Street, puppets, Phoenix Theatre, musical, Dark Psychic Prodsuctions, comedy, performing arts, Hamilton Hill, Fremantle
The Avenue Q full puppet company, coming to Phoenix Theatre in March. Picture: Sally Newman

Involved with Phoenix Theatre since 2012 when she appeared in the Australian premiere of Virgin Warrior, Jayde went on to direct The Mocky Horror Monster Ball and has served as vice president and president of the theatre's committee. In 2013, she co-directed Maul of the Dead and appeared in When The Lights Go Down and Sorority House of the Dead, also directing Cosi and choreographing The Brain From Planet X in 2014 and performing in Zombie Prom last year.

Previously, Jayde directed Roses Are Black at the Koorliny Arts Centre, Mulan at the Peter Carnley Anglican Community School and Shakespeare Standoff and A Midsummer Night's Dream at university. She is also no stranger to Avenue Q, appearing in a 2012 Roleystone Theatre production.

"The first time anyone works with puppets is a challenge, from the actors' movements through to connecting with the audience and others on stage," Jayde said. "The actors and puppets need to come together as one person so the audience is watching one entity, not two.

"On top of that, you have to add dance moves into the mix, making it a Ben Hur-type challenge – but my cast is up to it. You also need to draw that fine line between making fun of things but not completely offending the audience."

Avenue Q, Sesame Street, puppets, Phoenix Theatre, musical, Dark Psychic Prodsuctions, comedy, performing arts, Hamilton Hill, Fremantle
A host of puppets are brought to life in the musical Avenue Q, described as "Sesame Street for adults". Picture: Sally Newman

Avenue Q plays 8pm March 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 with a 2pm matinee March 13. Tickets are $25 adults, $20 concession, plus transaction fees – book at www.phoenixtheatreinc.com.au.

The production is supporting Lifeline through raffle ticket and program sales and collections made during The Money Song. Please note: the show contains haze and flashing light effects, adult themes, coarse language and full puppet nudity.

Phoenix Theatre is located at 435 Carrington Street, Hamilton Hill, within the Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall.
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Why? This is Sesame Street with an M-rating – and the results are hilarious.
When: 8pm March 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 & 19; 2pm March 13
Where: Phoenix Theatre, 435 Carrington Street, Hamilton Hill (within the Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall)
Cost: $25 adults, $20 concession, plus transaction fees
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