WATSONVILLE — The latest stage production by Watsonville and Pajaro Valley high schools is the Broadway comedic hit “Avenue Q,” a comedy noted for its use of puppets alongside human actors.
The play features a recent college graduate who moves to a run-down apartment on Avenue Q, where he and his friends learn that their lives are not what they expected them to be.
Their disillusionment is further compounded when they learn that the mawkish optimism of television shows such as “Sesame Street” — with their message that children can become anything they wish — are largely making false promises.
“It’s like ‘Sesame Street,’ but it’s like a lost part of the block,” Watsonville High School drama teacher and director David Scott said.
And so, with both puppets and their human counterparts sharing the sophomoric cynicism of young adulthood, the characters find themselves embroiled in struggles for careers and love as they confront such subjects as racism and sexuality.
In choosing the play, Scott said he liked the challenge of putting puppets alongside actors, a challenge made more difficult by the ratio: just four actors operate eight puppets.
“I wanted a play I would have wanted to be in when I was in high school,” Scott said.
The musical was written in 2002 by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, based on a book by Jeff Whitty.
In 2004, the play won the Tony “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.
Although adapted for the school stage, Scott nevertheless warns parents that some material may be inappropriate for young children.
“Avenue Q” will be at the Henry J. Mello Center at 250 East Beach St. on March 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m.; and March 11 and 18 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $7 for students, senior citizens and educators. General admission is $10. They are available at the door or online. Watsonville High School students are free with student ID.
For tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3331464.