THERE have not been many surprises bigger at Broadway’s night of nights than in 2004 when Avenue Q beat Wicked to win the Tony Award for Best Musical.
Perth music theatre performer Vincent Hooper was studying at WAAPA at the time and although he had not seen the show live, he had watched a lot of clips on YouTube.
“It was like this little show that could and a lot of the songs are popular in the music theatre world,” he said.
“The characters are awesome; it’s a bit sacrilegious and is like Sesame Street for adults.
“One of the opening lines is ‘What do you do with a BA in English?’ and then it goes from there.”
Now based in Melbourne, Hooper experienced a full Avenue Q induction when he joined the cast of the Prince Moo Productions version performed at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre in August.
The show will open for a season at Crown Theatre Perth from November 26, where the 32-year-old will play three puppet characters – Nicky, Trekkie and a Bad Idea Bear.
“Nicky has a bit of a Kermit the Frog voice and is like Ernie in Sesame Street,” Hooper said.
“His friend Rod is like Bert and Rod is in love with Nicky but Nicky is straight and his role in the show is to help Rod come out of the closet.
“Trekkie Monster loves internet porn, while Bad Idea Bear is one of two bears trying to convince the lead characters to do terrible things.
“It’s surprising how much an audience believes in these puppet characters even though you’re standing right there; these puppets come to life and when they say vulgar or ridiculous things, it’s just gold.”
Hooper, who was in The Rocky Horror Show and has performed cabaret shows at Downstairs at the Maj, said he looked forward to returning home to his family close to Christmas with such a great musical.
“I just don’t see how anyone could not like it; it’s just such a beautiful and funny show and it’s a good time to be watching a show like this,” he said.
“I think one of the reasons why Avenue Q did win the Tony Award and was very popular for its time was because it came out of the September 11 attacks and people just needed to laugh.
“It’s a bit like that now with it being quite dark with a lot of political hot air; to get out of the house and sit in a theatre of like-minded people and escape is really great.”
What: Avenue Q
Where: Crown Theatre Perth
When: November 26 to December 10