Review - Avenue Q is a delightful production

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ready for Monsterssori School

Theatre Review: Avenue Q
Book by Jeff Whitty
Music and Lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx
Orchestrations and Arrangements by Stephen Oremus
Stage Directed / Choreographed by Lee Ann Hittenberger
Produced by Charles Enlow
Shoreline Community College
October 30, 31, November 1

Review By Doug Gochanour

Avenue Q is an enjoyable, masterful production of the famous Broadway Musical. It is definitely adult entertainment, despite the colorful puppets and exuberant songs, performed with excellence by this very talented cast. This musical soon ventures out of childhood fantasy and into real world social concerns.

Puppet Princeton, believably enlivened by Mike Engh, has moved clear out to Avenue Q, as the rents from Avenues A through P are unaffordable. His song laments the uselessness of his recent expensive college degree. Princeton also realizes that he is lonely, and his life is without a purpose. A delightful array of Puppet Avenue Q residents begin to influence Princeton’s life.

Kiya Coon gives an amazing performance as Kate Monster, introducing an immediate chemistry / love interest for Princeton. Jordan Meeker provides a distraction for Princeton, in her role as lounge singer Lucy The Slut. Kayla Peeples pleases the audience as former child TV star Gary Coleman. Trekkie Monster, the porn fiend, is enlivened by Dima Progrebniak and Michelle Martinez. The Bad Idea Bears are so nicely naughty, as induced by Kaelyn Barnes and Paris Giese.

Lounge singer Lucy

Other outstanding performances as puppets or human characters include Daniel Ray Siller as Brian, Nick Edmondson as Nicky, Noah Bruckshen as Rod, Norah Peters as Mrs. Thistletwat and the right arm of Nicky, Marissa Correa as Newcomer, and Anna-Lisa Doebly as Ricky.

Morgan Dietkus sparkles as Christmas Eve. She plays an unsuccessful Japanese therapist with two MA degrees, always willing to provide consultations and quips to the neighborhood characters. She finally marries Brian in a Jewish wedding, and Kate Monster gets the boquet.

The cast keeps up precision comic timing, even as many have to operate a puppet along with their acting and singing, in full view of the audience. This all takes place with excellent direction, and also with great accompaniment by five talented musicians.

Issues addressed or undressed include racism, homophobia, loneliness, sex, nudity, obsession with porn, and “schadenfreude” – enjoyment derived from the suffering of others.

Eventually, the Avenue Q residents find purpose in an opportunity to help Kate Monster fund her dream of opening a Monsterssori School. Can she find love along the way? Be sure to find out by enjoying a performance of Avenue Q at the Shoreline Community College Theatre.

Purchase tickets online. General admission $16, Seniors and non-SCC students $12.


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