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'Avenue Q' Hits Chicago's Streets

By Tim State in Arts & Entertainment on May 24, 2008 11:10PM

Avenue Q has finally arrived on Randolph Street here in Chicago. Photo by Popix.

Avenue Q,” the Tony-award winning Broadway sensation has finally made its way to Chicago after beginning a national tour last summer. The musical follows the lives of a group of recent college graduates while struggling to make ends meet as young urbanites. “Avenue Q” is unlike other musicals, though, in that it stars a cast of puppets who sing outrageously funny, candid, and un-P.C. songs about their life: “It’s OK If You’re Gay,” “The Internet is for Porn,” and “Everyone’s a Little Racist.”

The show will ring true for Gen-Xers, mostly because it was created by a group of (struggling at the time) Gen-Xers: Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx writing the music and lyrics, and book by Jeff Whitty. Originally opening in the Off-Broadway Vineyard Theatre in March 2003, the show transfered to Broadway by that summer. In 2004, the trio walked away with the Tony’s for Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score, among others.

The show is getting great reviews, particularly for its quirky spirit and delivery. Whitty, who, in the interest of disclosure, I should mention is a childhood friend, makes the truth of “Avenue Q” ring so true with Generation X and beyond by delving deep into his characters with honesty and integrity, and devilishly delicious humor.

Avenue Q runs through June 7 at Cadillac Palace Theatre.