Continuing the massive love-in that I have for Avenue Q, when I heard about this late night cabaret show by the cast on Valentine’s Day at the Delfont Room, I had no doubt in my mind about booking. And it was well worth it as it turned out to be a brilliant and hugely amusing night, full of great singing. It played as a total assortment of things, with cast members mixing up serious heartfelt renditions of songs with personal meaning to witty interpretations of songs from other songs, both solo and in groups and of course some serious puppet play as the more furry characters from Avenue Q also took time out of their busy schedules to give us a number or 3.
I didn’t take notes as we were stood up for the show and it was the kind of night where I just wanted to soak it all up and enjoy it with my partner for once. It may not have been the most romantic way to spend Valentine’s, although I don’t think we ever thought it would be as it was frequently hysterical. So this is more a recollection of highlights from the evening than a full review.
Incredibly, although perhaps predictably, the best bit of the night was a song I’d never heard before, ‘A Summer in Ohio’, from a musical called The Last Five Years as I later discovered, as performed by Julie Atherton. It was a very funny song, extremely wordy but Atherton’s enunciation meant every line and joke was crystal clear and great fun. She also did well at keeping a straight face during a rendition of ‘Popular’ from Wicked as Kate Monster opposite Simon Lipkin’s Trekkie Monster which was just hysterical.
And another great moment was a medley of Take That songs performed by the male puppet characters from the show which was laugh-out-loud funny all the way through with its use of backing singers and dance routines. Other good numbers were an uncomplicated passionate version of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ by Luke Evans, a bizarre interpretation of Minnie Riperton’s ‘Loving You’ with bird noises by Gloria Onitri and a group number by the boys of a song from The Full Monty. The medley of songs with love in the title that started the show and was reprised at the end gave a nice feel to the whole evening which was lots of fun.