Thursday April 4, 2013 / 7:30pmAvenue Q
Assigned at Box Office
How was your experience?
An absolute DELIGHT of a production that's charming, vastly amusing and even a bit moving at the same time. It's quite amazing how each of the performers in their turn manages to shine brilliantly. The play is the basic boy-meets-girl (and everything in between!) that wears its large, encompassing, bleeding heart on its generous sleeve to wonderful effect. M. Denise Lee as Gary Coleman (yes, THAT Gary Coleman) who is "reduced" to managing a whirlwind of an apartment building after his parents stole his child-acting money, is spectacularly talented in that familiar "sassy black girl" way. (Don't worry, you'll get the personal pronoun thing worked out as the show opens). Matt Purvis, who plays dual character puppets, is cute as all get out and is clearly the star of the show in which every actor is a star in their own right. I'll admit to developing a "crush" on the actor AND the character puppets he became, but please don't tell him I said that... Megan Kelly Bates is a standout as the love interest to one of Mr. Purvis' characters, masterfully portraying every emotion a pretty girl monster puppet in love is capable. I loved, loved, loved her. Every single one of the actors/puppeteers burst from the tiny and well-designed stage (by the legendary Jac Alder!) with a power and life-force that surprised and delighted. The sublime James Chandler, Olivia de Guzman Emile (as the hilarious "Christmas Eve"), Chester Maple, and Michael Robinson round out a well-chosen cast of hard-working professional actors who clearly have a handle on their special craft and art. These people have a gift. Speaking of a gift, the puppets themselves are wildly imaginative works of theater art by Pix Smith and Michael Robinson of The Dallas Puppet Theater. Kudos to them! Do yourself a huge favor: go see this warm and wonderful musical. It does a body good!