Last summer, the Dallas Theater Center discovered something the Dallas Summer Musicals has known for, oh, more than 60 years: In Dallas, when summer’s here and kids are driving parents crazy at home, programming family-friendly musical comedies makes the box-office happy. So although The Wiz was a spangly-gimmicky, somewhat disappointing show, that didn’t affect ticket sales one whit. Thus, this summer’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, meaning — if this continues — the Theater Center will be presenting three musicals a season.
But now Theatre Three has found that — with the right show — you could get much the same results with a distinctly adult musical comedy. When Theatre Three announced its basement space, Theatre Too, had the rights to Avenue Q, the-single-young-puppets-looking-for-love-or-a-good-time musical, the announcement came with an asterisk: The company officially had the rights for a month but could extend it, and the obvious hope was that Avenue Q would take out a long lease on that space, like such previous residents as I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.
Well, Avenue Q has been selling like nothing else has at Theatre Too. There’s barely been an empty seat in the little theater since the show opened. It certainly helped, as we noted, that this production is a well-directed, well-designed bit of stuffed felt and naughty spoofery. So now Q has been held over through September 16. Whether this show really has legs will be seen in how well it draws when the younger, date-night crowd goes back to college in the fall.