The Tony-award-winning Broadway musical Avenue Q is the latest production from SRSU’s Theater Program. Featuring a cast comprised of both humans and puppets, Avenue Q follows the story of a fresh-faced recent college graduate on a journey to find his life’s purpose in the format of a decidedly grown-up version of Sesame Street. The New York Times’ chief theater critic Ben Brantley called Avenue Q “savvy, sassy and eminently likable.”
“There are puppets, but this is not a kid’s show,” warns Associate Professor of Communication Bret Scott, who is directing. “It’s written for people who are of the Sesame Street generation. It’s very much for adults, with some coarse humor and adult situations. The guys who wrote Avenue Q noticed that younger audiences didn’t seem attracted to musicals and set out to write a show that would appeal to a hipper crowd…and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. While this is aimed pretty squarely at Gen X and the Millenials, your teenager will think you’re pretty cool for bringing her to see the show.”
With music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and book by Jeff Whitty, Avenue Q won Best Musical, Book, and Score at the 2004 Tony Awards. Robert Lopez went on wrote music for Disney’s Frozen, Pixar’s Coco, and The Book of Mormon (another Tony-winner).
The cast is comprised of SRSU Theatre students Olivia Pertuso, Michael Amerson, Crysty Graves-Herrera, Sedia Woods, Emma Morales, April Crowder, Desiree Rendon, and Cierra Noel. Recent SRSU Theatre Alumni Jason Roman and Westin Huffman, along with Alpine local Brady Wilkins, round out a talented group of actors, singers, and puppeteers. Avenue Q’s Musical Director is Dr. Andrew Allegria. Scenic Design is by Ross Fleming, Lighting Design is by SRSU alum Michael Burnett, and Costume Designs are by Carolyn Barrientes.
“Jim Henson had a theory that puppets are allowed to tell the truth in a way that human characters aren’t,” says Scott, “and truth is the very best kind of comedy – the moments where we find ourselves laughing at the recognition that we’re seeing ourselves. I think audiences are going to go home humming the songs, and sore from laughing so hard at a really funny script.”
Avenue Q runs March 27th through April 11th in the Motion Capture Soundstage (next to Kokernot Outdoor Theater). Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30pm. Sunday Matinees at 2pm. No show Easter Sunday. Tickets are $15. Seniors and children, $12. Reserve online at sulross.edu/theatre (scroll down to the “Buy Tickets Now!” button) or buy at the door.