From Directors Brandon James and Ben Hart comes the fun and amusing musical comedy Avenue Q playing at Seacoast Repertory Theatre. With over fifty handmade puppets, a lively band and creatively designed set this unique show, with adult themes, keeps the audience chuckling from start to finish.
The experience of live theatre is often exciting because you never know what might happen. In this production, as is the case with most productions, the first few performances have some hiccups until the show finds its rhythm. But it is certainly worth taking in as there are many highlights within this production to enjoy.
The first of which is the fantastic band led by Music Director Andrew Barret Cox. It was wonderful having a live band that featured not only a piano, but also drums and both electric and bass guitars among other instruments. They were high energy and kept the tempo of the show moving right along. As with most musicals, the show is driven by the music being played by the band and sung by the performers. The cast of fifteen delivered vocally strong performances throughout the production. I must applaud this production on having such wonderfully talented artists sharing their gifts with the audience; be it their voice or other instrument.
The second highlight is one I was not expecting to see: tap dancing. Shaina Schwartz (Gary Coleman) performed a stellar tap solo during the first act. Her sounds and steps were a fantastic addition to the show. I am thrilled to see, as noted in the program, that she is not only sharing her incredible tapping talent with many audiences during the run of Avenue Q, but also young people throughout the Greater Boston and New Hampshire areas. With entertainers and educators like Shaina Schwartz, the art of tap dancing is certainly making its come back.
I would also like to commend the entire cast on their work in the complex art form of Puppetry. It is certainly something that needs many hours of training and practice and it is clear this group worked very hard to bring their puppet characters to life. Ben Hart and Noah Lefebvre did a great job working as one to bring to life Nicky, one of the puppet characters. Additionally, many performers brought to life more than one puppet character and overall I think it was a job well done.
Interestingly, the creatively designed set of the rundown city street, Avenue Q, was made by recycled, tossed away and/or donated items. Like the saying goes “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” and that statement is certainly true for this cool and colorful set.
This musical, though many characters are puppets, is not appropriate for children and is geared more towards an adult audience. Avenue Q plays at Seacoast Repertory Theatre Thursdays- Sundays until September 13th. For more information and tickets visit www.seacoastrep.org
For more of my reviews and theatrical thoughts check out: http://intheatresome1isalwayswatching.blogspot.com/