Hands up for show

Something different: Some of the Avenue puppets during rehearsals for the show when it was staged in Dunedin PICTURE: CRAIG BAXTER

It’s funny, quirky, and just a little bit cheeky – and that’s before you even get to the puppets.

Showbiz Queenstown’s preparing to stage something a bit different to its past shows with the forthcoming Avenue Q

The Broadway smash hit, which won three Tony Awards, is a satirical coming-of-age story that imitates the format of shows such as Sesame Street

Showbiz president Fiona Stephenson says after tackling big hits like Chicagoand Les Miserables, and children’s shows like Annie, they want to try something a bit more out of the box.

“It’s funny, it’s a night out, it’s adult,” she says.

“We wanted to try something slightly left-field.”

As well as being something new for Showbiz, Avenue Q will be the first big production for Stephenson as pres-ident.

She took over the reins from Ben Roberts in November, after 11 years of backstage work and treading the boards.

“I came to Queenstown and I didn’t know if I could act or sing, I just thought it would be a good way to make friends,” she says.

“It’s just really special to me, and the calibre of shows they put on is really quite mind-blowing.”

She calls the organisation “really community spirited”.

“People just give it a whirl.”

Auditions for Avenue take place next Monday and Tuesday, from 4pm.

Stephenson says they’re looking for 10-20 people to take on the three human roles and the puppeteers.