Want to go?
What: “Avenue Q,” a hit Broadway comedy presented by the Community Theatre of Greensboro
When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21-24, 28-30 and Oct. 1; and 2 p.m. Sept. 18, 25 and Oct. 2
Where: Community Theatre of Greensboro, 520 S. Elm St. in downtown Greensboro
Tickets: $10-30 at the box office, by phone at (336) 333-7470 or online at http://ctgso.org. Wednesday performances are “Pay What You Can” nights.
Information: (336) 333-7469 or http://ctgso.org
Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2016 12:00 am
For a joyful, irreverent night in the theater, go see “Avenue Q” as presented by The Community Theatre of Greensboro at the Starr Theatre.
A splendid cast brings the show to life in a way that can’t help but lift your spirits. And based on the audience reaction, I am not alone in thinking that this is a show for all generations as long as you have an open mind and an open heart.
I first saw “Avenue Q” when it opened on Broadway in 2003. I was almost afraid to revisit it after 13 years because I was afraid it might be a show that was “of its time.” Instead, I found it as relevant today, and perhaps more so, than it was 13 years ago.
“Avenue Q” tells the story of the “Sesame Street” generation, a generation frequently perceived as having been raised with high expectations and a sense of “specialness” and entitlement. But it also tells the universal and timeless story of what happens to everyone when they have to face the “real world” after college. It deals with the transition into the adult world where they ask themselves “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” as they try to find their purpose.
“Avenue Q” brings people together by celebrating differences and finding commonality. There is nothing politically correct about “Avenue Q.” With songs like “It Sucks to Be Me,” “If You Were Gay,” “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “The Internet is for Porn,” nothing is sacred. But the show has so much heart, it’s hard to be offended. It also makes you think and sympathize with these young adults growing up in a complex world. For those of us a little older than the youthful characters, it makes us remember our own transition to adulthood.
Part of the show’s homage to “Sesame Street” is that it is performed with large puppets on a set reminiscent of the beloved children’s show. Don’t let this scare you off. The puppets and the actors who perform through them are part of what makes this show so special. The actors give fully realized performances and the puppets serve as excellent devices to both make a connection and soften what might be some rough edges with the songs and messages.
There is not a weak link in the cast. Standouts are Latimer Alexander V and Megan Parker in the lead roles, respectively, as Princeton and Kate Monster. Yansa Crosby is excellent as Gary Coleman. I was a little thrown by the choice not to use an obviously Asian American actress as the Japanese character Christmas Eve, but actress Mary Lea Dominick-Williams, and the message of the show, won me over and helped me get past that concern.
Scott Michaels is a Greensboro Realtor, writer and lifelong supporter of the arts. Contact him at ScottMichaels100@gmail.com.
This News & Record arts coverage is supported by contributions to ArtsGreensboro’s Arts & Theatre Media Fund.