My husband and I recently took our 13 year-old and one of his friends to see Broadway Across Canada’s performance of Avenue Q. The show is about a recent college grad, laid off from a job he has yet to begin, and his quest for his life’s true purpose.
I thought this would be a great cultural adventure for our two boys, one of whom is about to start high school next fall. Having read the synopsis and reviews, I realized, the subject matter might be too risqué for my 9-year-old and responsibly made alternate arrangements for her care for the evening. The website did say, however, that “if you do bring your teenagers, they will think you’re the coolest parents on earth!” My two boys have no problem suggesting on a regular basis that my “cool” meter could use a few extra cranks so I immediately purchased 4 orchestra level tickets. Mere days later, I found out that my eldest’s year-end class trip conflicted with our planned night out to the theatre and “cool” as it might be, he was not about to miss a trip to Montreal with all his 14-year-old classmates. We probably should have left the two siblings at home and went with another couple, but instead decided to treat our 13-year-old and one of his close friends. Off we went…
Several members of the cast in this musical comedy are stuffed. Stuffed – as in they bear a strong resemblance to Jim Henson’s Muppets. I should also mention that the set bears a strong resemblance to that of Sesame Street. Wiping away the tears brought on by a heavy attack of cackling laughter, I suddenly realized looked beside me thinking, who is this kid beside me laughing along with me?, realizing, Oh my God, it’s my own kid! For a brief second, I hoped half the jokes were going over his head, but that was a flirting moment of naivety. Ten minutes into curtain up, and the show had already touched upon racism, homosexuality, internet porn, bad choices, binge drinking and sex. I began masterminding a quick exit at Intermission only to realize that the Children’s Aid Society has probably already been notified and are likely on their way.
There will be no need to buy the soundtrack to this performance; I’m pretty sure these two boys memorized the words to “The Internet is for Porn” sung by a large orange creature that bore more resemblance to the Snuffleuffagus, than Debbie Dallas. When his mom calls me and complains that her son has asked to play “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” at his year-end piano recital instead of his requisite Conservatory piece, I know I’ll have hit rock bottom.
A cultural adventure indeed.