Navigate the streets of life with Theatre Macon’s “Avenue Q”

Telegraph correspondentApril 4, 2014 

When Theatre Macon director Jim Crisp saw “Avenue Q” performed in New York several years ago, he said he knew he wanted to do the play “the minute it was available.” That time has come; “Avenue Q” opens Friday night at Theatre Macon.

“This show is happy, upbeat, positive and just delightful. People can’t help but love it,” Crisp said. “For those who haven’t seen it, this show tells the story of young post college graduates trying to find their way in life. We all remember having to contemplate our lives and figure out who we were. There are love stories, friendship stories, community stories, all taking place on the mythological Avenue Q managed by an adult Gary Coleman from ‘Different Strokes.’ This is the story of making your own way in the world.”

Crisp said Theatre Macon is known for pushing the boundaries a little with their performance choices, and this show is no different. He noted that it is rated R for adult language and subject matter, and suitable for age 17 and older.

“I choose it because our theater has an identity of pushing gently at the boundaries of the envelope and doing material that is more modern and contemporary,” Crisp said. “Of course, we intend to entertain, not offend, and so have been very careful to let audiences know the show is risqué. I think the best way to describe it is ‘Sesame Street’ for adults, or as an adult puppet show that includes full puppet nudity. ... Of course, given the number of people across all age brackets who have told me that they are excited to see this show, there is simply no way of knowing who might be offended and who will simply laugh at the absurdity of modern life.”

The music from “Avenue Q” has won a Tony, a Grammy, an Emmy and an Oscar.

“When ‘Avenue Q’ opened in New York, it landed like a nuclear explosion of colorful rainbows and joy. It is something unlike anything seen on Broadway before. It was totally new and still, even a number of years later, it is as fresh as ever,” Crisp said.

Crisp was proud to share that the show’s cast is “sterling.”

“They are so strong vocally and such terrific actors. We have a great production team, too. Richard Frazier, from Northside High School, is our choreographer. Jim Pendorf is our music director. Our actors have learned puppetry techniques, which has been time well spent, from Reay Kaplan from the Horizon Theater in Atlanta,” he said. “Everyone in our theater is over the moon about sharing this show with our audience. There is a tremendous amount of positive energy around this endeavor and we all leave rehearsals excited.”

“Avenue Q”

When: 8 p.m. April 4-5, 11-12, 18-19; 2:30 p.m. April 6; 7:30 p.m. April 9-10 and 17

Where: Theatre Macon, 438 Cherry St.

Cost: $25 adults, $20 seniors, $15 students ages 17-22

Information: 478-746-9485, www.theatremacon.com

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