Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Toto Too Theatre set to produce Avenue Q

The raunchy puppet show comes to Ottawa

The Ottawa cast ofToto Too Theatre’s production of Avenue Q. Credit: Toto Too Theatre

Toto Too Theatre will produce the multi-Tony Award-winning Avenue Q, the dirty, poignant and hilarious musical that gave us such memorable songs as “The Internet is for Porn,” “If You Were Gay” and “What Do You Do with a BA in English.”

Fresh out of university, Princeton is eager to give his life direction — to find purpose. Unfortunately, he has no work experience, his degree is in English, and his apartment is in a shoddy “outer-outer borough” of New York City called Avenue Q.

Through his interactions with such figures as the internet porn-obsessed Trekkie Monster (one of many puppet characters in the musical); Lucy “The Slut,” a lady of questionable virtue; and the closeted Rod (who insists he has a girlfriend living in Canada), Princeton learns that things don’t always go the way you planned.

Toto Too’s board chair and managing director Ted Chartrand says that preparing for this production about characters going through struggles that everyone, and especially young people, go through — issues relating to unemployment, diversity and sexual orientation — provided inspiration for another project.

Toto Too will partner with the Ten Oaks Project — a charity that employs a variety of programs, including summer camps, as a means to connect and empower children of LGBT families — to teach young people about theatre.

“We want to mentor them on how a show is produced and then have them be the onstage performers for a Toto Too production,” Chartrand says, adding that participants may even get to develop their own personal stories into shows. “It’s really using the theatre arts as a means of creative expression for these kids.”

Many of the details of this newly-minted partnership are still to be determined — including the partnership’s duration and the structure and timing of the theatre programs — but it will kick off with fundraisers at Avenue Q. Proceeds from the 50/50 draws to be held at each performance will go to Ten Oaks.