Cat Chat 17: Puppet sex?

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When my editor, Diane Seo, told me that I would be interviewing a puppet on today’s Cat Chat, I was a bit concerned.

Not about conversing with a puppet. But that the puppet would upstage me.

And sure enough, the puppet — named Princeton and part of Manoa Valley Theatre’s latest production, “Avenue Q,” which opens tomorrow — did just that.

“Avenue Q” is a sharp-witted and hilarious coming-of-age parable, satirizing the issues and anxieties of young adults, particularly the ones — like Princeton — who are recent graduates with throw-away college degrees.

It’s a spoof of PBS’ “Sesame Street,” where kids are special and everything finds a way of working out. Life is good on Sesame Street — but not so great on Avenue Q.

And unlike “Sesame Street,” this play has some real-life situations not appropriate for kids. Like swearing, nudity and, yes, puppet sex.

The show is so popular — it won Tony Awards in 2004 for Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Original Book — and tickets sales so strong, MVT decided to extend the show two more weeks. That means, it will run from Thursday — opening night — until April 3.

So Princeton — and his handler, Elitei Tatafu Jr. — and Christmas Eve — played by Pomai Lopez — spent some time with us yesterday to talk about the show, their personal take on the message, and how in the world can a puppet show be R-rated.

For more information or to order tickets, call (808) 988-6131 or visit www.manoavalleytheatre.com.

This production is one of the first community theater productions in the nation and uses puppets from the official play licensing house. Guest director, Bree Bumatai. Guest musical director, Megan Mount. Choreographer/puppeteer, Cindy Hartigan.

Special thanks to Manoa Valley Theatre, Elitei Tatafu Jr., Pomai Lopez, Aubrey Hawk and the cast and crew of “Avenue Q” for making this Cat Chat happen!

18 comments
DaveU
DaveU

To those who have not see Avenue Q, you gotta see it!! I just saw it for the second time at Pantages Theater in Hollywood a couple nights ago. It is so freaking funny.

M
M

Hello Cat,
Who knew puppets could do that.....

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

Tei is a great puppeteer. you focus immediately and directly onto his alter ego. Princeton's subtile reactions are as good as this art form gets.

hikino
hikino

You know what they say: Once you go muppet, everything else seems like a sad sock puppet.

808marv
808marv

I think "Ask Dr. Dish" should now be a video with a @Cat -like puppet answering questions. ;-)

chang
chang

sounds and looks like fun!

dbjack
dbjack

Now that was cool. Bet that will be a fun thing to see.

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

i like these ensemble cat chats! imagine if all of u had puppets, hmm... maybe they invite u to have a cameo in the production??

Sushi
Sushi

I haven't seen Avenue Q, but I want to. The songs definitely stick with you long after the show. And maybe you should have kept Princeton's ears covered while talking about him. Then again, he might have suspected things. ;)

JocelynCollado
JocelynCollado

I highly recommend Avenue Q! I saw it on Broadway in NYC a few years ago and loved it. Some of those songs are gonna stick with you. And remember..."The Internet is for Porn."

matti2d
matti2d

haven't watched the vid yet, but i'm going to nyc later this month and avenue q is on my short list of plays to see.

CodyZamboni
CodyZamboni

well, that was certainly a different episode
R rated puppet show............well I did love the 2004 movie Team America : World Police.
That was an all puppet cast, uproariously funny.
Pushed the R rating to the limit.
And it was a musical.
If Aveunue Q is like that, I"m there.

Ynaku
Ynaku

He giving you da google eyes :-0

morningside
morningside

Ave Q is definitely edgy, but also a clever little production. I saw it twice on Broadway. This is a nice intro into what you can expect from the show.

hawaii
hawaii

"I don't know who wants to talk. But. Whatever." Ha!

DianeSeo
DianeSeo

Upstaged? No. An equal match, I think.

Cat
Cat

@Ynaku I totally thought he was going to touch me or so something completely inappropriate. I was actually sad that he didn't...

Cat
Cat

@morningside I'm super stoked to see it, actually! Never got to see the show in NYC, so this is going to be FUN.