I found this video of the ending of Avenue Q. Although it’s for the MDA fund raiser and not done on the actual stage, I like what they did with the staging a lot. It’s interesting to see it cuz it’s different from what I pictured. When I listened to the soundtrack, I imagined the whole cast (the important characters anyway) on stage singing the finale and all stay on stage until the music ends and lights go off. Well, that’s not the case. Everybody walked off the stage except the main character Princeton to sing the last line. I actually really like the way they handled it. There are friends along the way. They can be there for you, to teach you things, to share their thoughts and feelings with you, but in the end, there are things that you just need to ponder and figure out yourself. While everybody’s leaving, Christmas Eve, the therapist with a warm and caring heart, stayed a little longer to give Princeton a hug. And then finally he gave Kate Monster, his special friend, a kiss on her cheek before she left. I really like this sequence. They had the friends leave the stage in the order of regular friends, extra caring friend, and that special friend. They can’t be with you 24-7, but the more they care, the more they’ll stay around (of course, that’s not necessarily true in real life but it is for a musical number like this anyway). Eventually, they all go back home and until you see them next time, that’s the time for introspection. That’s when you ponder and realize things.
Man, if I’ve watched everything as seriously and carefully as I watch puppet shows, I would probably be a good director. But anyway, there’s two moments with puppets that I really like in this video. One is that moment Princeton took before he sang the last line “everything in life is only for now”. I can feel the puppet thinking, and having and epiphany. That’s good puppeteering. And the other moment I like is when Princeton kissed Kate Monster on the cheek. I don’t know. There’s just something really cute about a muppet kissing another muppet when it’s done well. That’s a cute moment there.
PS. I watched this video many times to figure out who took Lucy the Slut from Stephanie D’Abruzzo cuz she was carrying two puppets at the beginning but only Kate Monster at the end. That’s clever staging there.
EDIT (Oct 13, 2007): The video is no longer available.