After the American Musical Theater of San Jose declared bankruptcy in early December, there remained some hope that Avenue Q would still make it’s Northern California Bay Area debut in San Jose. But this week’s news declared that the touring production of the musical has been scuttled for the Bay Area.
If you don’t know much about Avenue Q, you should know it’s a Tony award winning musical based on Sesame Street-like puppet characters interacting with human characters, for an adult audience. The musical covers adult topics like racism, pornography and homosexuality, so it’s really not a kid friendly show. The cast features one Asian character named “Christmas Eve” who is a Japanese immigrant trying to find work in Koreatown, but speaks no Korean. She’s engaged to the character Brian, an out-of-work Jewish comedian. Christmas Eve was played by Ann Harada, using a heavy Japanese accent in the original production.
The musical also features songs like “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist“, and uses not only the character of Christmas Eve to discuss racism, but uses racism against Monsters (e.g. Cookie Monster, parodied in Avenue Q by the character Trekkie Monster) as well.
It’s a major disappointment the Bay Area won’t be graced with this production. Those of us looking forward to the musical will have to wait a little longer or travel to Sacramento, the nearest venue that will have the touring production.