EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWS"AVENUE Q"
from Eyewitness News Online
Teaching Life Lessons For Grownups With Music And Laughter
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Chris Mazivanhanga
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Aug. 25, 2012 12:30 AM EDT
Updated: Aug. 25, 2012 12:43 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Its founders say one of the reasons they formed Huntington's Curtains Up Players was to present material that other local theater companies tend to ignore. "Avenue Q" certainly fits that bill.
Winner of the 2004 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score, its described as a grown-up Sesame Street. Humans and puppets interact freely, as they discover the lessons of their childhood that everyone is special don't necessarily apply as you get older.
"We have a half puppet, half human cast but it actually does cover real grownup issues and sort of teaches you lessons about growing up," said Stephanie Kay Sands, who plays a "Bad Idea Bear".
Some elements of the show are a bit risque', including songs which extoll the virtue of internet pornography and touch on subjects like racism and homosexuality. But at its core, the performers say "Avenue Q" is a vehicle which teaches tolerance, self-respect and helping others. It just doles out those lessons with some rough edges attached.
"Well I like to think of it as where "Sesame Street" teaches kids what's relevant to them and what they need to know, "Avenue Q" is a good play for an older audience because it addresses some of the issues that they are going to be running into throughout their lives," said Ryan Jackson, who plays "Trekkie Monster".
Instead of renting them from a national company, CUP commissioned the construction of the show's puppet stars. Kate Monster, The Bad Idea Bears and Trekkie Monster come to life in all of their felt and foam glory.
"We have puppets that we made locally," said director Danny Ray. "A gentleman that is a friend of our theater company, Curtains Up Players, he is a renowned toymaker and he built all of our puppets from scratch."
Michael Rose, who plays "Nicky", added "It's very interesting to allow yourself as a performer to kind of step back and allow just your voice to be what the audience gets out of the show."
The musical carries a parental advisory for mature content.
Curtains Up Players presents the Tony Award-winning musical "Avenue Q"
Friday, August 24 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, August 25 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 26 at 2:30 pm
Thursday, August 30 at 8:00 pm
Friday, August 31 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, September 1 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, September 2 at 2:30 pm
All performances take place at the Jeslyn Performing Arts Center
1030 4th Avenue
Huntington, West Virginia
All seats reserved! Call 304-942-8576 or Facebook message Shayne Gue or Alayna Paige Berry to RESERVE your tickets!
$15 for adults
$12 for students
$10 group discount for groups of 10 or more
Shayne Gue as Princeton/Rod
Kristen Pennington as Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut
Michael Edward Rose as Nicky
Holly Maynard as Gary Coleman
Greg Kiser as Brian
April Frye as Christmas Eve
Ryan Jackson as Trekkie Monster/Bad Idea Bear
Stephanie Kay Sands as Mrs. Thistletwat/Bad Idea Bear/Ensemble
Chris Sunderland as The Newcomer/Ensemble
Directed by Danny Ray
Musical Direction by Kaitlin DeSpain
Produced by Paul Neace
Choreographed by Chris Sunderland
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