Avenue Q - Winnipeg Studio Theatre @ MTC Warehouse

Failed dreams, empty lives, songs about porn, and puppet nudity - Avenue Q has it all. This is not your mother's musical theatre. The hilarious musical, which is a sick twisted love child of Sesame Street and the film Kids , debuted on Broadway in 2004 to rave reviews. It has only been produced in the city once before, by an enthusiastic and talented cast of recent graduates with District Theatre Collective, so Winnipeg Studio Theatre's professional debut of the piece is much welcomed here.

Kayla Gordon and the highly skilled cast of entirely local performers wow and shock us with the raunchy puppets, yet at the same time find the beauty and truth in the appropriate moments. Brenda Gorlick's choreography is some of the best I've seen from this talented lady. The cast are all brilliant, but kudos must go to Dora Carrol for her turn as Lucy the Slut, where we see some of the most fantastic puppet work you'll find. Paula Potofsky is a lovable Kate Monster, and Aaron Hutton seems to just open his voice to speak and brilliant song comes forward as the protagonist Princeton. Lisa Bell's soaring vocals are a treat as well.

This is a show to remind us that theatre is at its very core, entertainment. And it isn't just for stuffy crowds. GO SEE THIS! You have until April 13, and if the opening night crowd is any indication, tickets will go fast.

Photo by Leif Norman.