Vineyard Theatre and The New Group

present

AVENUE Q

Music and Lyrics by ROBERT LOPEZ & JEFF MARX
Book by JEFF WHITTY
Based on an original concept by ROBERT LOPEZ and JEFF MARX
Directed by JASON MOORE

 

Golden Theatre

252 W. 45 St., NYC

Tickets: 212-239-6200/1-800-432-7250 or Telecharge                                                           

 

Performances begin in preview July 11

Opening night: July 31, 2003

 

Open-ended Broadway run

Review based on the off-Broadway run at Vineyard Theatre (Opened: March 19, 2003)

Choreography by Ken Roberson
Music Supervision, Arrangements & Orchestrations by Stephen Oremus
Puppets Conceived & Designed by Rick Lyon
Set Designer - Anna Louizos
Costume Designer - Mirena Rada
Lighting Designer - Frances Aronson
Sound Designer - Brett Jarvis
Music Director - Gary Adler
Musicians - Michael Croiter, Mark Hartman, Patience Higgins
Production Manager - Kai Brothers, Bridget Markov
Production Stage Manager - Christine M. Daly

Press Representative – Sam Rudy

 

Actors and Puppeteers

Jen Barnhart, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Stephanie D'Abruzzo

Jordan Gelber, Ann Harada, Rick Lyon, John Tartaglia

 

The run at the Vineyard is limited, but I would be very surprised if the most impressive AVENUE Q did not quickly reappear and remount in a new venue with an open-run. Best described as musical comedy for the Sesame Street generation, this inspired production is recommended viewing for every adult in search of a good laugh that is backed up by an impeccable production.

At the onset, we meet Princeton, a recent college graduate and newcomer to Avenue Q. In search of his true purpose in life, along the way he falls in love with a neighbor, Kate Monster, has a one night stand with a tawdry singer named Lucy T. Slut, and learns that there is more to life than thinking about himself. He is but a myriad of curious AVENUE Q denizens. Aside from the other puppet people, the porn-obsessed Trekkie Monster, roommates Rod and Nicky, two devilish Bad Idea Bears, and a kindergarten teacher named Mrs. Thistletwat, there are three humans to interact with them. Brian (Jordan Gelber), Christmas Eve (Ann Harada) and fallen star Gary Coleman (Natalie Venetia Belcon) round out the truly diverse ensemble cast.

The puppet handlers do remarkable work. They act, they sing, and they enable their charges to emote, interact, and, indeed, perform. Through soon to be classic numbers such as "Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist," "The Internet is for Porn," "If You Were Gay," and "You Can Be As Loud As the Hell You Want (When You’re Makin’ Love)," both puppets and people put their hearts and souls into it.

Essentially a musical in the traditional sense, but with a modern edginess that will attract the next generation to the evolving genre, AVENUE Q is a stellar example of creativity and collaboration at work. See it!

- Kessa De Santis -

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