The Group Rep presents “AVENUE Q” with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx.
Book by Jeff Whitty
Based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx
Directed by Patrick Burke
Musical direction by Paul Cady
“AVENUE Q,” the show that garnered Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score at the 2004 Tony Awards, is now playing at the Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood and it is A MUST SEE!!!
I know, I know, reviewers are supposed to wait until the end of the review to profess their opinion, but why wait!?
Now, this is not your child’s puppet show. It is an adult theme, coming of age story filled with fabulous music, lyrics, singing voices, and a storyline that forces our protagonist to face the fact that he is not as extraordinary, not as “special” as he has been led to believe by his parents. The real world forces him to realize he is just as ordinary as everyone else. Princeton (Joey Flint) has just graduated from college, and is ready to go and make his mark on the world. He arrives on AVENUE Q looking for his first apartment. But he learns he has lost his first job, and so begins his journey to find his PURPOSE, his reason for being alive.
Kate Monster (Hartley Powers) takes a fancy to Princeton only to be pushed aside by Lucy the Slut (also Hartley Powers). You can imagine from the name how Lucy tantalizes Princeton away from Kate Monster. Brian (Ashkhan Aref) and Christmas Eve (Kristina Reyes) both live action residents of AVENUE Q are boyfriend and girlfriend. Rod (Joey Flint) and Nicky (Troy Whitaker) are roommates with a twist. Mrs. Thistletwat and Girl Bear (Harley Walker) is Kate’s boss, and Trekkie Monster and Boy Bear (Troy Whitaker) is, well, quite something!!! You gotta love Trekkie Monster. Then we have Gary Coleman (also live action) played by Courtney Bruce. Yes, that Gary Coleman who has become the landlord of all the residents of AVENUE Q, who fills the stage at every turn. The performances by the cast are amazing, utilizing the puppets masterfully and becoming one with each of the characters.
Patrick Burke has given us a fantastic musical filled with great direction, as well as casting the exact right person for each character/puppet. Paul Cady’s musical direction, and Michele Bernath’s choreography enhance this great show. The stars of the show are the puppets and they are glorious, so the puppet wranglers (Lisa McGee Mann, Dorathy Haverty and Kaylena Mann) deserve stars and first-rate acclaim. As always, Chris Winfield’s set is the best, costumes, lighting, sound, stage manager (Kenny Harder). Every craft deserves stars. Now, there is some puppet nudity, so be prepared.
I could go on and on. As I said at the top of this review, this is a MUST SEE. Yes it’s puppets, and yes it’s AMAZING. “AVENUE Q” is funny, poignant, artful, with a great story, great music, and great actors and puppets. What a great night out in North Hollywood! What are you waiting for?
Enjoy!!!!!!!!!! (yes it’s a 10)
Cast: Ashkhan Aref, Courtney Bruce, Joey Flint, Hartley Powers, Kristina Reyes, Harley Walker and Troy Whitaker
Produced for The Group Rep by: Drina Durazo and Kevin Hoffman, Jr.
Director: Patrick Burke
Musical Direction by Paul Cady
Orchestrations and Arrangements by Stephen Oremus
Choreography by Michele Bernath
Puppet Creations by Patrick Burke inspired by the Puppet Designs of Rick Lyon
Set Design: Chris Winfield
Costume Design: Stephanie Colet
Lighting Design: Patrick Dennison
Sound Design: Steve Shaw
Stage Manager: Kenny Harder
Animation Design: Robert Lopez
Lead Puppet Wrangler: Lisa McGee Mann
Puppet Wranglers: Dorathy Haverty and Kaylena Mann
Properties: J. Christopher Sloan
Audio Supervisor: Kevin Hoffman, Jr.
Dance Captain: Hartley Powers
Assistant Director: Patrick Skelton
Light Board Operator: John Ledley
Public Relations: Nora Feldman
Photography/Videography: Doug Engalla
Graphic Design: Doug Haverty
Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Tickets and Information:
www.thegrouprep.com OR (818) 763-5990
$30; Students/Seniors with ID: $25; Groups 10+: $20;
May 31 – July 7, 2019
Thursdays June 13 and 27 at 8PM
Fridays and Saturdays 8PM, Sundays 2PM
Fridays and Saturdays 8:00 pm; Sundays at 2:00 pm
Talk-Backs after matinees June 9 and June 23.
Adult Themes, language and full puppet nudity.
2 Hours (one 15 minute intermission)