Avenue Q Report and Critique

Topics: Gender, The New York Times, Stereotype Pages: 2 (573 words) Published: April 3, 2013
Nicholas Russo
THTR 3011-001

Avenue Q is a hilarious, almost borderline disturbing show, filled with adult themes, vulgar language, and half naked puppets. If you can see past the inescapable sex or gay storyline, the artists of Avenue Q attack relevant social stereotypes such as homophobia, racism, and gender. Connections from Avenue Q can be made to the recent NY Times article titled “It’s Not Me, It’s You.”, which addresses intelligence and the stereotype threat. In the production, the main character Princeton, a white male, asks his new found ‘monster’ friend, Kate if she was related to Trekkie, whom is another monster in the neighborhood. Kate goes on to explain to Princeton that just because they are both monsters, doesn’t mean they are related. The choreographer chose the song “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist”, to make the point that everyone is a little bit racist, but may not notice. In the NY Times article, African American students score lower on tests when reminded of their race, but score higher when not reminded of race. A lesson to be learned here is how racism is unavoidable, and that equality cant be accomplished until that is accepted. The societal stereotype of homophobia is portrayed between two roommates of the production, Rod, a closeted homosexual, and Nicky, a straight male. Nicky thinks Rod is gay, but Rod insists that he is not. Rod fears not being accepted, which leads to the song “If you were gay”, which contains lyrics such as, “If you were gay, it’d be okay, I mean cause hey, I’d like you anyway.” A main lesson drawn from the lyrics is to put apparent difference aside and learn to accept each other. Regarding gender equality, females to this day are seen as inferior to men. The opening song “It Sucks to Be Me” sung by Kate Monster disempowers women. In the song, Kate’s reason for her life sucking is the lack of a boyfriend, portraying the stereotype that women need a man to complete their lives. In the article, “It’s...

Cited: Paul, Annie Murphy. "GRAY MATTER; It 's Not Me, It 's You." The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 Oct. 2012. Web. 16 Oct. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/opinion/sunday/intelligence-and-the-stereotype-threat.html>.
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