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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Avenue Quatsch

I mentioned this on my MySpace Blog, but, the more I thought about it, the more it annoyed me, and, when I get annoyed, I like to have a big audience. That means you, piglets. (That’s “big,” collectively speaking, of course. Those pants are very slimming on you.)
Anyway, I got some news recently that Music Theatre International, the company that owns the production rights to Avenue Q has announced that they will eventually be making the
Tony-award-winning musical about foul-mouthed, sexually promiscuous puppets available in a school version.
Yes. You read that correctly.
Additionally, the full version of the musical will be made available with . . . oh, hell . . . here’s the release, read it for yourself:

We’re delighted to announce that MTI has acquired the rights to represent the exciting and edgy hit musical AVENUE Q! While it is not available for general release at this time, we wanted you to know that in conjunction with the authors, the plan is to release two versions of the show: AVENUE Q School Edition (suitable for High Schools to perform, with any material that might be deemed “questionable” for a general audience altered or removed) and the full version of AVENUE Q, with variations for sections/songs/lyrics that will allow a production to retain as much of the original as possible, but be flexible to allow theatres to amend it within author-approved guidelines for various community standards.

Interesting reading, no? I myself have only read it the once as subsequent readings compel me to repeatedly stab myself in the eye with a spoon.
“Questionable for a general audience?”
Amendable “for various community standards”?

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. The authors of Grease are finally bowing to years of community and high school theatres’ continued royalty violations by now officially replacing the original production songs with the more popular movie versions “Hopelessly Devoted” and “You’re the One That I Want.” For all I know, they may have cleaned up the language as well. Maybe Rizzo’s hymen will remain intact and the song “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” will be about voting for Ralph Nader.

Look, Avenue Q is not meant to be performed by St. Mary’s Academy of the Sacred Virginal Knot High School. It’s just not. Sanitizing it to that end simply for the sake of lining one’s pockets is called “selling out.”

Spring Awakening just received 11 Tony nominations and is poised to be the next Best Musical winner.
Does that mean that four years from now we’ll be able to see it performed by the 1st Community Baptist Players singing the tunes “The Shucks of Living” and “Totally Inconvenienced?”

Auugh!!!!! Where’d I put my spoon?

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