The Durham Performing Arts Center is bringing an effervescent presentation of multiple Tony Award®-winning PG-13 rated Broadway hit Avenue Q, produced by Work Light Productions of Summit, NJ, back to the Triangle for two performances — at 7:30 p.m. on April 19th and 20th — in its brand-new, 2,700-seat, state-of-the-art theater, in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham, NC. (Avenue Q had its Triangle debut on May 6-11, 2008 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium as part of Broadway Series South.)
Based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and performed by people and puppets, this irreverent look at “real life” in a bustling outer borough of present-day New York City features music and lyrics by Lopez and Marx and a book by Jeff Whitty.
Avenue Q made its Broadway debut on July 31, 2003 at the John Golden Theatre, where it racked up 2,534 performances before closing on Sept. 13, 2009. The ensemble show also received six 2004 Tony Award nominations, and won the Tony for Best Musical.
According to the Durham Performing Arts Center:
“Avenue Q is the smash-hit Broadway musical about real life in New York City, as told by a cast of people and puppets through a hilariously irreverent, Tony-winning book and score. The three-time Tony Award-winning musical returns to the Triangle after popular demand at DPAC ….
“Avenue Q tells the story of Princeton [played on tour by David Colston Corris], a bright-eyed college grad who moves to NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account. The only apartment he can afford is way out on Avenue Q, where everyone’s looking for the same things he is: a decent job, a stable relationship, and a ‘purpose.’ Eventually, Princeton learns to embrace the ups and downs of city life and realizes that ‘the real world’ isn’t so bad, after all!”
Besides David Corris, who plays the recent college graduate and unemployed former English major Princeton and the uptight Republican banker Rod, the Avenue Q cast includes Ashley Eileen Bucknam as kindergarten teaching assistant Kate Monster and the oversexed chanteuse Lucy the Slut; Michael Liscio, Jr. as the homeless panhandler Nicky, the misanthropic recluse Trekkie Monster, and a Bad Idea Bear; Anita Welch as diminutive former television child star and current building superintendent Gary Coleman (“Diff’rent Strokes”); Lisa Helmi Johanson as the new bride Christmas Eve; Tim Kornblum as Around the Clock Café emcee Brian; and Kerri Brackin as Kate’s boss Mrs. Thistletwat and a Bad Idea Bear.
The show’s ensemble includes Ben Hart, Katie McCreary, Laura Yumi Snell, and Zach Trimmer.
Also according to the Durham Performing Arts Center:
“The New York Times hailed Avenue Q as ‘a breakthrough musical of a very different stripe. Savvy, sassy and delicious!’ and Entertainment Weekly claimed it was ‘one of the funniest shows you’re ever likely to see!’
“Avenue Q … is directed by Jason Moore[, with] puppet design by Rick Lyon, orchestrations by Stephen Oremus, choreography by Ken Roberson, scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Mirena Rada, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Lew Mead[. The show’s] associate director is Evan Ensign, and [its] music supervisor is Andrew Graham….
““[WARNING:] Due to adult situations (like full-puppet nudity), AVENUE Q may be inappropriate for kids under 13.”
TICKETS: $36.50-$68.25 (including fees).
Ticketmaster: 800/745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/973986.
The Tour: http://www.avenueqontour.com/ (official website).
Work Light Productions: http://www.worklightproductions.com/ (official website).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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