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trixsntracks
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Hi, I recently went to see a show which is on in the west end of london (our broadway) called AVENUE Q if you've never heard of it let me explain!. it is a fusion between performers and puppets (half body muppet style)but the main thing is the puppets are held by the actor as tho they are just sombody next to them, no holding above the head etc also the actor is dressed as a normal actor would be no blacking out etc and the actor talks or sings the lines (no vent). sounds different well it is and it took a few minutes to get used to it but after a while you don't even notice the actor and just watch the puppets and they act out the musical, it's very well done!. so this got me thinkin , I had a half body muppet style puppet in the attic left over from when I did puppet shows so I got him (called preston) down quickly wrote a script practised for a few days then took him along to a couple of my kids shows (5-6 year olds) to see what the reaction was and the strange thing was every kid at both shows accepted him as a character no shouting "your just talking " etc so my question is does it matter (especially to kids as this is who I mainly work too) if you just talk (with a character voice of course) and that the kids see a half body puppet next too you! or if the puppet character is strong enough and animated do people see past this! I have now a new avenue to explore after many years of wanting to vent and not really being good enough to use in my shows. your thoughts please.
cardone
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Its not ventriloquism ... A good ventriloquist act is like magic ...... A great puppet show is like magic ...For Me AVE Q ... is an artistic mess... why are there puppets in the show ? Why not just use actors or all puppets.If this show is a spoof on Sesame Street ..then don't show the puppeteers.Imagine the muppet show if you could see Mr Henson. I have been performing puppety for many years and and I had a Grant from the Henson Foundation last year... I have seen 100s of puppet shows and I have no problem with seeing the puppeteer...but there must be a reason for this ....In ave Q the puppet and the puppeteer are in the spotlight ....why ?
magicmarkdaniel
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Bolton, England UK
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I caught a glimpse of this show on last nights Children In Need on BBC1. Its a very strange piece of theatre. Your mind can't decide whether to focus on the puppeteers or the puppets. Some of the cast are there as themselves, and do not operate puppets. The puppeteers are certainly not vents, nor do they make any attempts to be. I'm not sure on this show. I think its one that you either love or you hate. I'm still on the fence but if they sing in those horrible voices throughout the show, I'd be inclined to give it a whopping big thumbs down.

Mark
Mark Daniel
trixsntracks
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Cardone, I understand what you are sayin I went to the show as I was in london to see "wicked" and happened to see the rave reviews this show was gettin so I along with friends who are not in show biz just to see and at first I had the same reservations why not hide the puppetters etc but after a little while you just forget and watch the puppets! everyone really enjoyed the show and my friends said seeing the puppeteers did not spoil the illusion etc. I remember seeing jim henson on a couple of chat shows with kermit and he just spoke in kermits voice but because of the sheer brillence of the guy as a puppeteer you did not watch mr henson at all! magicmarkdaniel I too saw the little glimpse on children in need and I must say it's a show you need to see live! why does a performer have to keep his lips still if working with a puppet maybe this is just another way of performing and if the character has enough personality of it's own do people really care if your lips move or not is it not the fun of the journey that it can take you to. I respect both your opions tho!.
Eddie Garland
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Ave Q is brilliant fun. The on stage manipulations of the puppets by the puppeteers is a wonder to behold. If you have a chance to see it you must...it will win you over. It requires puppeteers with stage presence.

As far as focus goes...when in a scene say between two puppets characters in Ave Q. The puppets focus speaking with each other, while the actors/puppeteers focus on speaking to each other not the puppets.

See opening here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw3KW7WJt......;search=
Believe me it works...it won the Tony for Best Musical here on Broadway.
Eddie Garland
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Here is a bit more from the terrific original cast...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-pwn8GQ2gY

Pay attention to the fellow playing "Nicky" a greenish puppet inspired by "Ernie" of Sesame...that is Rick Lyons....an amazing puppeteer, he also designed and built the Ave Q puppets. He does a lot of two handed partner work in the show and is a joy to watch in person. He also performs the infamous Trekkie Monster.
kimmo
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I would love to see this show! After hours and hours of interminable rubbish during Children in Need last night, this was an unexpected breath of fresh air. Pity it was on so late, when the rest of my family had gone to bed.

Tricksntracks - I have seen a fantastic kids act with a puppet who made no attempt to vent at all!! He simply opened with the words - 'I'm about to get Butch out of the case now. He's a puppet and I'm not a ventriloquist so I would advise you to look at him, not my mouth!!' The kids went with it completely and his material and manipulation was so good it didn't matter one bit!
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trixsntracks
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Kimmo, that line that the kids act said made me laugh what a great line! that was the point I was trying to get across, as much as I love vents and I've worked with people like Terry Hall and lenny the lion, Keith Harris and orville, Paul Zerdin and sam to name but a few,i thought avenue q was a breath of fresh air and wonderd why it could'nt be used in a kids show or even adults, if the manipulation is brilliant and character why not move your mouth and talk no-one should be watching you! try and get to see avenue q in london and why your there don't miss "wicked" it's wicked!.
trixsntracks
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Eddie, thanks for those links, avenue q rocks.
indridcold
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Quote:
On 2006-11-18 18:19, trixsntracks wrote:
don't miss "wicked" it's wicked!.


I can absolutely say that this is the best advice I have heard all night. If Idina Menzel is still playing, get you bum out of your chair and try to book tickets. An amazing experience.

Dave
trixsntracks
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Dave, idina is still playing the lead, tho she finishes soon (january I think). is it wrong of me that I fancied her even tho she was covered in green paint thro-out!
indridcold
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Not at all. A gay friend of mine told me at he would only make love to one woman...idina...and only if she was green. Very beautiful and powerful.

Defy Gravity...
Dave
kimmo
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Just resurrecting this thread to say woo-hoo - My partner Penny and I have just arranged a trip to London and we have tickets for both Avenue Q and Wicked! I can't wait!
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rossmacrae
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Quote:
On 2006-11-18 08:55, cardone wrote:
Its not ventriloquism ... In ave Q the puppet and the puppeteer are in the spotlight ....why ?

Speaking as a longtime actor as well as a magician, the answer is ... (drumroll, please)...

BECAUSE IT WORKS!

Don't complain that the show, or its technique, is not something it doesn't pretend to be.

AVENUE Q is delightful, at least to me. And a whole bunch of audiences. It's an odd pastiche of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and "Muppets" and "Saturday Night Live" (BTW, its likeness to the Muppets is Henson-approved, according to the show's website) - nobody's pretending it's an "invisible-puppeteer puppet show" or a vent act. It's a funny show with an unusual puppet technique. And, as a performer who has had the occasional creative flash - sometimes successful, sometimes dreadful - nobody better tell me that a performer can't take familiar elements and make something new out of them, without being scorned for not being fully in line with each of the traditions he draws from.

As for "it's not ventriloquism": Bergen not only moved his lips, he just talked (along with Charlie McCarthy). Nobody says he wasn't a vent.
cardone
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What is the definition of ventriloquism ..? please some one tell me ....
kimmo
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Ventriloquism or not, I saw Avenue Q last night and I was not disappointed. The best night at the theatre I've had in quite a while.

Image


The London cast were excellent, particularly Julie Atherton (I don't know who I'm more in love with - her or Kate Monster!) and Simon Lipkin (Nicky/Trekkie Monster)

Image


The puppetry was absolutely excellent and the misderection employed when the actors needed to switch characters in full view of the audience was a lesson in itself for magicians.

Image


Just fantastic - if you get the chance, you have to see this show!

http://www.avenueqthemusical.co.uk
VISIT MY ONLINE STORE!: www.kimmomagicshop.com
NEW LECTURE NOTES - SHOW US YOUR TRIX NOW AVAILABLE AS AN INSTANT DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!

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Watch the promo here!
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ludmer
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I think it´s a great show. But the point is, usually you can´t get facil expressions from a puppet. Avenue Q combines it all. So, if the puppet is just opening its mouth, you can´t tell if it is sad, happy, whatever. But, the actor´s expression will put this charge os emotion on. That is the point with Q. And I think it´s pure genius work.


Except for death and paying taxes, everything in life is only for now!

MagiQally,

Ben.


P.S: When a magician fails, do people think of Schadenfreude?
I trust jewish magicians and bagels
cardone
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You can get facial expressions ,1000s of them if you are a good puppeteer.... In Japan puppets are considered better than actors and the highest form of Theatre.
mark1991
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Hi there,

To get back to the topic, I went to see Avenue Q a few months ago and loved it! I first found out about it a year ago and that's what first got me involved in puppeteering! I love their style and I use it a lot in church services!

Hope this helps!

God bless!

Magical Mark Watson
(mark1991)
http://magicnewstelevision.com/mn/magicalmark



Magical Mark Watson - Christian magician, juggler, puppeteer, all-round entertainer and lover of Christ!
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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Our local Repertory company (Repertory Philippines) is staging Avenue Q this September here in Manila...my pal is making all the puppets in the act Smile

Will post some photos soon Smile

Thanks

Wanlu
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

Wanlu's Affordable Puppets
http://wanlu.net/ventpuppets.html

Wanlu and his Puppets
http://wanlu.net
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