Monday, January 24, 2011

Avenue Q Blogger Night

I get asked for theater recommendations frequently and between the disappointing fall season and January show massacre, lately, it's become a tough question to answer. Sometimes I forget about those long-running shows, but after attending Avenue Q's blogger night on Wednesday, it will return to the top of my recommendation list. I'm happy to report that it remains one of the best shows off or on Broadway and the production at New World Stages is as tight as ever.

I'm sure most readers of this blog will have heard of Avenue Q, but just in case, it's about a puppet named Princeton who graduates from college and has to face the real world and everything it entails (looking for an apartment, getting a job, relationships, etc.). The actors playing the puppets (there are a few non-puppet characters) are in full view of the audience and one of the many pleasures of the show is seeing how the expressions on the actors' faces match those of the puppets.

I'm lucky enough to have seen the original Broadway cast, but these performers put their own spin on the characters and get just as many laughs from Jeff Whitty's book and Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx's lyrics. Standouts are Anika Larsen as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut, Jonathan Root as Princeton/Rod, and Ruthie Ann Miles as one of the adorable Bad Idea Bears.

After the performance, bloggers were treated to a Q&A with the cast. Larsen spoke about the stress of puppet boot camp that is required for final callbacks (many performers in the show do not have a puppetry background). "It's too much to think about. It's not just making sure she's moving her lips at the same time as me. It's does it end on an M, which is different from if it ends on a B," she said. "It's making sure that her eyes are always looking where my eyes are looking." The boot camp must have paid off because it's easy to forget while watching the show that she and the cast are doing all that work and that the puppets aren't real.

If you haven't the seen show yet (What are you waiting for?) or just want to see it again, you can use the code AQBLOG12 to get tickets for as low as $55. The code can be used online at, over the phone, or at the box office and is valid through 5/26/11.

Photos of the Q&A (from top): Anika Larsen with Kate Monster, Jonathan Root with Rod and Jed Resnick with Trekkie Monster, Ruthie Ann Miles with a Bad Idea Bear, one of the oldest puppets used in the production at 4 1/2 years old, cast of Avenue Q


Tamara Vallejos said...

How did their blogger night work? Was it a regular performance but with a Q&A afterward for any bloggers in attendance? Did bloggers get comp tickets or did you have to buy your own ticket, with the Q&A as an added bonus?

I think it'd be great to organize a blogger night at one of my organization's performances, but I wonder how other companies approach theirs, and what would make it a successful evening, from a blogger's perspective.... Hmm.

Linda said...

It was a regular performance (there were people there who bought tickets), but the bloggers did get comped and were invited to the Q&A. We were also given name tags with our names and blog names, which was helpful so you knew who was there for the blogger night.

Tamara Vallejos said...

Hmm, good to know. Thanks! Did they seek you out or did you sign up for it somewhere?