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PostHeaderIcon Avenue Q Opens Saturday

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Coming soon to the Bankhead Theater in Livermore is Avenue Q, a hilarious modern musical focusing on a group of outlandish and unique 20-somethings making their way in the big city.  Situated somewhere between Avenues P and R, presumably in New York, is a group of human misfits and other characters who are puppets, and will remind you (at first) of Sesame Street.  The similarity ends quickly as the story of Princeton, a recent college graduate with a useless degree in English, settles into life on the fringe of society.

This show was created by Robert Lopez with music and lyrics by Greg Marx and premiered on Broadway in 2003.  Lopez is a bit of an overachiever as he garnered the Tony Trifecta of Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book.  He then went on to do work on The Book of Mormon and Frozen.

The general theme of Avenue Q is that children are told early on from kids’ programming and their parents that they are ‘special’ and can do anything.  As they go out on their own, reality strikes a blow and they discover that they might not be any more special than anyone else.  As you may be able to discern from some of the characters’ names, Lucy the Slut and Mrs. Thistletwat, this is a VERY adult show.  Other humans join Princeton, including Gary Coleman (even in death, always funny) and the puppets to explore subjects like internet porn, homosexuality, puppet sex, and race relations.  Princeton is played by Sean McGrory, and Coleman is Mia Sagan who has played this role to perfection before.  They are joined by Scott J. DiLorenzo, Vicki Victoria, Jennifer Stark, Wendy Amador, Mario Rappa, Kevin Hammond, David Leon, Sam Leeper, Abby Peterson, Eve Tieck, and Britt Jensky to form an unbeatable cast.  The musical director is Greg Zema and the choreographer is Julie Etzel.

Avenue Q is directed by John Maio, one of the really funny and innovative local directors.  I have worked with him and for him on a number of occasions and can guarantee that the results will be top notch as usual.   John says that the thing about this show that stands out the most for him is, “how incredibly easily the show presents complex messages that make you think.”  He was surprised at how difficult it was to master the manipulation of the puppets and yet make it look easy.  He goes on to say that, in the end, the audience will find, “Life is too short to judge each other.  Go out and be positive. Negativity has no place in a caring society.”  A great message for kids but, leave them at home because, as I warned earlier, the language and themes are a bit too intense for them.  Take these samples from the song list:  ‘It Sucks To Be Me, ‘Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist,’ ‘If You Were Gay,’ and ’The Internet is for Porn.’  You might want to be careful if you’re singing these ditties on the way out of the theater.  These are hilarious numbers and are woven into a tapestry of messages, relationships, and surprises that promise to provide a good time.

Avenue Q will be presented by the Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre under the watchful eye of the ever-alluring producer Kathleen Breedveld.

Where:   Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St. in Livermore.

When:  October 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31 and November 1 and 2.  Friday and Saturday shows are  at 8 p.m..  Sundays at 2 p.m..

Cost:  $39 General,  $37 Seniors.  $20 Juniors

Tickets:  Box office hours are Tuesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m..  Saturday from 3-6 p.m..   (925) 373-6899 or purchase on line at: www.trivalleyrep.org --BS

 

Bob Stratton is an actor who has appeared in many productions with TriValley Repertory Theatre. He is also an athlete who can do a mean one-handed push up.

Last Updated (Saturday, 11 October 2014 17:44)

 

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