On Wednesday, January 19, 2011 I had the pleasure of attending a special blogger night at "Avenue Q," the Tony Award Winning musical smash hit that is now playing Off-Broadway at New World Stages. What made this night so special was that after the show us bloggers were able to meet the cast and puppets of this hilarious, smart, and fun show. Enjoy the pictures throughout and video footage below of the cast talking about their experience in "Avenue Q." It was a great night and I am so happy that I get to share this special experience with each and everyone of you!
I have seen "Avenue Q" multiple times now from the original cast Off-Broadway at The Vineyard Theatre to the Broadway run at the Golden to this current Off-Broadway run at New World Stages. Each time I've seen this show, it has been as enjoyable as my very first time. The producers were very wise and very forward-thinking by moving "Avenue Q" Off-Broadway after it closed on Broadway because this show is STILL GOING STRONG WITH "PURPOSE!!!" The brilliance of "Avenue Q" lies within the writing of both the book (by Jeff Whitty) and lyrics/music (by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx) as well as the casting of human actors and puppets. Everybody can identify with its universal theme of growing up and trying to make your way in this world and how to get through life's difficulties. From love to moving out on your own to figuring out how you fit into this world, each theme gets addressed in a brilliantly humorous fashion.
The cast should be applauded loudly for not only acting and singing on their own, but most are doing it simultaneously as their puppet character. For as many times as I've seen this show, I'm always amazed at how each actor brings their own spin to the character(s) they play. This time around was no exception. Jonathan Root who plays "Princeton/Rod" has probably brought the freshest spin to these roles while keeping true to his characters since John Tartaglia who originated the role. Jonathan's inflection both in speaking and especially in song, made me feel as though this was the first time I'd seen something completely original from John's creation. Jonathan's blends his puppetry skills with his acting/vocals effortlessly perfect! I was also very impressed with Hazel Anne Raymundo who has also brought her own spin to the role of "Christmas Eve." While she too, keeps true to the character, Hazel's vocals are powerful and strong, making me want more. One of the most delightful surprises of the evening was that Anika Larsen, a fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant, came back to the role of "Kate Monster/Lucy The Slut" after being out of the show for a year and didn't miss a beat! If you've never seen Anika Larsen in a show before, you should get yourself down to "Avenue Q" to check her out. Her vocal power is out of this world...one of the most controlled and powerful voices I've heard.
Still fun, fresh, hilarious, and most of all relatable, "Avenue Q" is a show to see...with a lover, a friend, family (though not for kids under 13), or by yourself! Come on down to New World Stages (340 West 50th Street) and enjoy an evening of laughter, puppets, and fun at "Avenue Q" for as low as $55 by entering code AQBLOG12 (discount valid through May 26, 2011) or use this code at the box office.