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Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review

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FinalDestination
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Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#1
Posted: 2/17/08 at 11:43am
First off, let me just say, I am NOT good at writing these, so here goes nothing:

Cast:
Princeton/Rod: Robert McClure
Brian: Cole Porter
Kate/Lucy: Kelli Sawyer
Nicky/Trekkie/Bad Idea Bear: David Benoit
Christmas Eve: Angela Ai
Gary Coleman: Carla Renata
Mrs. T (saying this because of Playbill..and to avoid any issues)/Bad Idea Bear: Minglie Chen
Ensemble: Maggie Lakis, Seth Rettberg, Danielle K. Thomas


I saw Avenue Q with my friend yesterday at the St. Louis Fox Theatre. Really, going in, I didn't know ANYONE in the cast, which I was kind of worried, yet excited for. My friend however had heard some of Kelli Sawyer's singing and said she was pretty good.

So, finally, after waiting an hour in the theatre the show started, startling pretty much everyone in the theatre with that first sudden note. They had no announcement or anything they just started. The entire audience clapped after the Avenue Q theme.

The song What Do You Do With a BA in English?/It Sucks to be Me got a HUGE laugh from the audience. Generally the audience seemed to be having a great time and really enjoying the jokes and laughing at the APPROPRIATE times. Which is always nice.

The cast, let me say was SO talented, funny, and witty. So all around very enjoyable. I did like the show VERY much. I loved how simple the sets were and yet how well they worked. All around the show was FANTASTIC. Lighting, acting, singing, everything was a blast! I will say this though, some audience members did get REALLY offended during "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" and left. Also, some people were semi-offended by the song "For Now" because the cast added a great little adlib going "Your hair-is only for now. GEORGE BUSH! Is only for now", some of the little more sensitive and very pro-Bush, were kind of like "Say what?!" during that part, and some of the God Squad were semi-offended when the Bad Idea Bears found Scientology. But whatever. It was an all around good show. And so much fun!

Stage Door:
First off, it was cold as hell outside. But my friend and I still went out to the Stage Door. Well, when we got there, I realized I only had my black Sharpie, and obviously THAT wouldn't come out well on the Playbill (duh!) so I borrowed my friend's dying Silver Sharpie. Only a few members of the cast came out including: Maggie Lakis, who just kind of left, and my friend didn't want to go bother her if she OBVIOUSLY didn't want to stay. So we let her go. Then David Benoit just kind of ran out as well, and we missed him. But then Robert McClure came out. I might add that beside my friend and I, there were these three girls who were annoying as aggh. They were like "ZOMG AVENUE Q WAS GOOD BUT WICKED IS LYK3 SO MUCH BETTERR!". So Robert McClure signed their stuff, and came over to my friend and I. He was REALLY nice, he signed are stuff, thanked us for coming out to the show, we thanked him for being really frikken funny talented and enjoyable to watch. After Robert McClure, Cole Porter, and Angela Ai came out at the same time. They were really nice as well. Then finally Kelli Sawyer came out the Stage Door, signed our stuff, and thanked us for coming out, and then left. The three girls left after she came out, which my friend and I should have done, because no one else came out and it was freezing. But, while we were waiting we heard three LOUD crashing sounds, so ran out of the stage door alley and then around the corner and saw a three car pile up. It was one of those moments where we got the church giggles, (IE laughing at a very INAPPROPRIATE time). Schadenfreude, perhaps? Anyway, I still felt bad for the people.

Anyway, all around I'd give the show an A-. It is very well done, with MANY, great, jokes/innuendos.

Favorite Lines:
The teacher's name, if ya know what I mean.
---------------------
Kate: He's out with that Lucy!
Christmas Eve: Oh-she SKANKY!
---------------------
All of the song Schadenfreude.
---------------------
And many others. The entire show was all around great!

Now, I'm going to buy tickets for Jersey Boys!

"That's a good point. Next time I pee on a Starbucks couch and throw straws and napkins at a barista, I'll just yell, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME OUTSIDE OF STARBUCKS! YOU DON'T KNOW ME AT ALL!" and that should do it. "-LizzieCurry
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#2
Posted: 2/17/08 at 11:47am
Thanks for posting. Glad you had a good time!
"You will understand that Bww is a forum that allows Theatre people, Fussy old Queens, and chorus boys of Mama Mia to release their everyday life's frustration by being Snarky, B**chy, and sarcastic." -BwayBoundJoe
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#2
Posted: 2/17/08 at 12:06pm
I saw the same cast a few weeks ago in Philly, but I think we saw the understudy for Brian.

Anyway, I highly agree with all you said about the quality of the show/sets/acting/singing. I didn't notice any walkouts in Philly with "Racist" and "For Now" (in fact, I keep quoting for now to my husband - especially when he gets all bent about our debt...lol!) and everyone in Philly laughed about the George Bush ad-lib.

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. I wanted to go to the stage door, but didn't. Glad you got the chance to congratulate some of the cast!
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#3
Posted: 2/17/08 at 12:06pm
"George Bush" wasnt an adlib?

Saw this cast last week in Philadelphia. I thought it was very hit or miss- I saw Maggie Lakis on for Kate Monster and she was fantastic.

I thought McClure was out of breath and somewhat annoying, but overall I guess he did a good job. Cole porter was out and his understudy- I believe Seth Ruttberg- was absolutely horrendous. Just the dullest performance I have seen on any stage. Ever.

Carla Renata was OK, she has a great voice but seemed to be walking through the motions. Angela Ai was very good, but was missing the biting cynicism I remember from NYC.

the absolute standout was David Benoit whose voice was just INSANELY versatile between the roles, who sounded amazing when he actually had to sing and who just was the most lovable character on the stage. I dont know if he has been on bway yet, but he should be. TOP NOTCH.
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#4
Posted: 2/17/08 at 12:09pm
There are still people out there pro-Bush? In this day and age? That's a shame.
Updated On: 2/17/08 at 12:09 PM
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#5
Posted: 2/17/08 at 12:25pm
The George Bush part is not an ad-lib.

I'm just curious as to how you know that the people who left during "Racist" left because hey were offended by the song? Did they say anything? did they have angry body language? Not doubting you, just curious.

And the George Bush thing--on Broadway it always gets a huuuuuge applause, maybe the biggest in the whole show. And as for the "God Squad" being offended by the Bad News Bears finding Scientology--usually terms like "God Squad" are applied to Christians USUALLY, and Scientology has got nothing to do with Christianity, so I don't get why they're offended.
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#6
Posted: 2/17/08 at 12:33pm
yeah, I don't know what you mean by an ad-lib. The George Bush line has always been in, it's on the cd.
"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#7
Posted: 2/17/08 at 12:50pm
As for the George Bush thing, I didn't know it was on the CD. I've never actually heard the ENTIRE thing (I NEVER Listened to "Life Outside You're Apartment, so yesterday was the first time I heard that).

But the offended people during Racist, the just kind of, at some of the jokes, picked up their stuff groaning, and rolling their eyes and leaving. No ushers took them out (well one group of people were escorted out, but the people who left were on the other aisle).

As for the Scientology, offended possibly wasn't the best word for it, more of "aggh" type thing, people just kind of rolled their eyes, and had that "STUPID!" look on their face, if ya get what I mean.

George Bush had a half and half thing, so again, offended probably wasn't the BEST word. Half of the audience gave a huge boo, the other half was more like "YEAHHHH!!!". So sorry for that. I was basically at lack of a better word.

"That's a good point. Next time I pee on a Starbucks couch and throw straws and napkins at a barista, I'll just yell, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME OUTSIDE OF STARBUCKS! YOU DON'T KNOW ME AT ALL!" and that should do it. "-LizzieCurry
george95
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#8
Posted: 2/17/08 at 12:59pm
Wow interesting. I've never heard anything but applause for the George Bush line on Broadway, but if you read the Reader Reviews in the New York Times online, there are a number of people who complain about the show being anti-Republican and too preachy, etc.
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#9
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:06pm
well, he didn't see the show on broadway. He saw it in the Mid-west, where some people, for whatever reason still think George Bush is God's Grandson.
"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#10
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:07pm
Glad you had fun.
David Benoit is fabulous. I wish he was in the New York production. I love him!
re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review
PS He was hysterical on Broadway and I adored him in Forbidden Broadway a few seasons ago.

If you ever met him you would love him. He is kind.
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#11
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:13pm
Just a little (unsoilicited) advice about autographs. Always ask as the actor exits the stage door. Not all assume you are there for THEIR autograph(particularly if they're not a personality per se). Almost any actor will gladly autograph for you but many feel it presumptuous to linger waiting to do so. If you are not waiting for their autograph it can lead to a potentially embarrassing situation. Jump in there and ask...
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#12
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:22pm
'They were like "ZOMG AVENUE Q WAS GOOD BUT WICKED IS LYK3 SO MUCH BETTERR!".'

I've never understood the Avenue Q/Wicked comparisons. Why does Wicked always come into the discussion whenever the Q is mentioned?
Everything in life...is only for now.
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#13
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:25pm
Because they were nominated in the same year, and many people think that Wicked was upset by Ave. Q's tony wins.
"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#14
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:31pm
The first time i saw Q on broadway in November of 2006..Keli was Kate monster..she was amazing!..such a good voice..and Robert Mclure was trekkie/nicky..
he was great too..i would love to hear/see his rod/princeton

and btw..david benoit used to b on broadway but switched with christian anderson
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#15
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:33pm
Yeah remember when there were a million cabs in New York that sang "Avenue Q--Did We Mention that we Won the Tony?"

it was like in your face wicked! haha!
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#16
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:36pm
I know that David was in the NY production. I saw him in the New York production and I love him as Trekkie. Christian is also wonderful.
Personally love everyone in Q but David is a favorite.
I have interviewed him a few times and he is a very sweet person.
PS He is very funny.
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#17
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:36pm
I got a question:

Has the tempo change in Purpose been made in all the productions?

The song was slowly sang during the "I don't know how I know, but I'm gonna find my purpose. I don't know where I'm gonna look but I'm gonna find my purpose. Gotta find. Don't wanna wait. Got to make sure that my life will be great. I gotta find my purpose. Before it's too late." and then it speeds up.

Also in Schadenfreude they cut out the "Straight A students getting B's Exes getting STDs" line.

If this is for all productions, why did they change those things? Anyone?

"That's a good point. Next time I pee on a Starbucks couch and throw straws and napkins at a barista, I'll just yell, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME OUTSIDE OF STARBUCKS! YOU DON'T KNOW ME AT ALL!" and that should do it. "-LizzieCurry
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#18
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:47pm
the tempo change is probably just the musical director's personal preference.
"I'm an American, Damnit!!! And if it's three things I don't believe in, it's quitting and math."
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#19
Posted: 2/17/08 at 1:49pm
Glad you liked the show, FinalDestination! I saw the show in Pittsburgh and loved it.

I listened to audio from the West End production in London (on that one site), and the tempo at that one point was slow, as it was in the tour. It has probably been changed in all of the productions. There were changes made to the productions that were made in the Vegas production (like cutting some of "The Money Song"). The tempo might have been one of those changes, along with that one part in "Schadenfreude." I don't remember that part being gone in the song, though, when I saw it. I might just not have noticed it.
Updated On: 2/17/08 at 01:49 PM
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#20
Posted: 2/17/08 at 2:12pm
So is this a review of the show, or the stage door experience?
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#21
Posted: 2/17/08 at 8:25pm
Thanks for the review of the tour! We'll be seeing this when it rolls into town in June, I believe.

Do they have the giant inflatable Monster as part of the tour set?

"To love another person is to see the face of God!"
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#22
Posted: 2/17/08 at 8:43pm
Yes they do, Dancing Thru Life.

Just before "There's a Fine, Fine Line" Princeton is speaking of finding his purpose, and then the word on these little screens turns into "PROPOSE" (they are at Brian and Christmas Eve's wedding). and then the giant head comes behind the buildings. It looks great.

Hope you have fun!! It's a great show. Where are you seeing it?

"That's a good point. Next time I pee on a Starbucks couch and throw straws and napkins at a barista, I'll just yell, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME OUTSIDE OF STARBUCKS! YOU DON'T KNOW ME AT ALL!" and that should do it. "-LizzieCurry
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re: Avenue Q 2-16-08 Matinee Review#23
Posted: 2/17/08 at 8:44pm
Thanks for your review! Sounds like you had a great time! I will be seeing this at the end of the week in St. Louis as well.
"Everytime you step on that stage it is somebody's first Broadway show and somebody's last Broadway show. Make it count."