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Vibrant 'Avenue Q' at Greendale Community Theatre

Jan. 11, 2012
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Lopez and Marx's Avenue Q is a fun, adult tribute to children's programming, especially for audience members in their 20s and 30s who grew up with the programs being satirized in this show. The puppet-based musical continues to be successful nearly a decade after its premiere. Greendale Community Theatre stages a vibrant production featuring some sophisticated performances by foam puppets and the ex-children who animate them.

One of the more incisive comic performances was that of Rod, a conservative man trying to come to terms with his homosexuality. The puppet is made of blue foam and has a green nose and orange hair, but the character is very real, thanks to the acting work of Michael David Stoddard. Rachael Zientek and Max Kurkiewicz admirably handle a romance between puppets. The most impressive puppet work comes from Vanessa Schroeder and Zak Keil, who play a variety of roles. Rod's roommate Nicky is based on Ernie from "Sesame Street," and Keil plays it perfectly with a voice that uncannily echoes Jim Henson's original sound for the character. Schroeder is a great deal of fun to watch. Not only is she hilarious as Lucy the Slut, but she also plays, among other things, the right hand of Nicky—a performance that requires tremendous coordination. Also putting in an entertaining performance is Ericka Wade as building manager Gary Coleman. Wade's performance, built on the foundation of a really good impression of Coleman, serves as a nice center to the ensemble work.

Greendale Community Theatre's production of Avenue Q runs through Jan. 14 at the Greendale High School Auditorium. All shows start at 7:30 p.m.


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