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Stage 1 Theatre's Avenue Q is a MUST see!

Check out my unfiltered and unrated review of Stage 1's Avenue Q.

Editor's note: Avenue Q may not be appropriate for young children.Topics addressed within the production include sex, drinking and pornography. For showtime details, click here.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of watching the opening night performance of Stage 1's Avenue Q. I have been involved in Stage 1 productions in one way or another for over 10 years and I left completely in awe.

The Avenue Q atmosphere starts from the very moment the show starts. A Huge TV to the right of the stage bursts to life with a puppet anchor explaining the rules of the theatre. I have heard this same speech before shows hundreds of times, and usually it's a pre-recorded voice giving you the low-down on what is and isn't allowed. In true Avenue Q style, things are laid out for you in a blunt fashion: "SEX is not allowed in the theatre, but the parking lot is perfectly acceptable."

I don't want to waste time explaining the story of the show, because that is one of the best surprises of this rock opera. I will however, give a shout out to the stellar performances that I had the opportunity to see last weekend. I should probably disclose that I auditioned for this show, and didn't get cast. There are no hard feelings though, because I was there to witness the amazing auditions of those who did.

Jessica Alfonso, who plays Kate Monster is absolutely amazing. I remember watching her audition and how the entire room's energy changed when she sang. Her rendition of There's a Fine,Fine Line at the end of Act 1 is breath taking to say the least. Her voice is a perfect combination of being enough character for Kate with a sweet sound backed by incredible power.

One of the funniest songs in the show is The Internet Is For Porn where Kate, Trekkie Monster and Rod song-fight (in true Broadway form) what the Internet is really for. Sweet Kate debates the information age while Trekkie and Rod try to convince her of the real intention: Porn. The song is completely stolen by Scott Hall as Trekkie. To describe how he is funny is almost impossible, he has a natural and effortless portraying Trekkie and you completely forget there are 2 people operating this life sized puppet.

Lucy the Slut played by Katherine Cooper was the perfect mix of sex appeal and a tragic train wreck. She saunters on stage commanding everyone's attention and captivates you from the moment her huge puppet boobs hit you in the face. It doesn't hurt that Katherine has a to-die-for voice that really brings Lucy to life.

My favorite character though, is Christmas Eve played by Ji Kim-Fung. One of the only 'real' characters on stage, Ji stole every scene. She had perfect timing delivering each and every line like it was the first time she had ever said them. Her singing voice is one of the best in the show, and each of her solos was a complete delight. I couldn't wait to see what was going to come out of her mouth next.

As a whole, I could have watched these performers for hours and hours. I was actually sad to see the lights come up at the end. The entire theatre was filled with laughter- this group of people MORE than deserved their standing ovation. Sadly, the night I was attending there were less than 100 people in the audience. This group deserves large audiences laugh, no they NEED large audiences to appreciate all that they have to offer Avenue Q is hands down the best production to come out of Stage 1... I would dare to say ever. If you miss this show, you are missing out on a fantastic night full of laughs... and puppet sex. 

Stage 1 productions are held at the Newark Memorial High School Theatre. You still have 2 weekends to catch this fantastic show. It runs until October 13th and tickets can be purchased at http://stage1theatre.org

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

none-yah October 05, 2012 at 05:54 PM
For someone who supposedly watched the show, they should probably know that the "Internet is for Porn" is only between Kate & Trekkie. Rod is in the number, as well as all of the other Male members of the cast, but Rod is not a major part of it. I believe the editor of this Patch needs to re-evaluate who they are allowing to review events in the community. Also, if you are going to put something in quotes, please make sure to quote it properly. For those of you that do not know this show, it is not a rock opera. It is a musical in the truest sense. A rock opera would be something along the lines of Jesus Christ Superstar or Rent. Again, I beg Nika to please re-evaluate the choices of people you allow to write for your site.
Karen Halverson October 05, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Full disclosure - I'm biased because I'm working behind the scenes on Avenue Q. But I think Cheyenne wrote an amazing review with great details that backed up her assertions. She did audition for this show, and she could have come in with a chip on her shoulder, looking for ways to knock down the show. But she didn't - and we've performed 3 shows and got standing ovations at all three shows - so her high opinion is shared by other audience members.... THanks, Cheyenne! You rock! -Karen Halverson
none-yah October 05, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Upon further investigation, we find that Cheyenne is actually a board member for Stage 1 Community Theatre. Is there no sense of journalistic integrity anymore. Is this even a possible way that this could be a fair review? I saw the show, and thought it was quite amazing myself, but at least I am partial. I have no ties, and have not worked with Stage 1 for the last 10 years. Nika- You really need to think about what it is that you allow to be posted on the site that you are editor for. This is a direct reflection on you...
Jessica Watsob October 05, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I saw this show opening night as well and I have too been a part of Stage 1 and let me just say this show is really a knock out!!! Had me laughing immediately! It's a small cast with an ENORMOUS talent and stage presense! I also listened to the Broadway tracks as well as videos and I must say the puppets in this show out do Broadways bar FAR! I thought avenue Q sounded sooo stupid before I saw this show , now I can't stop singing and talking about it!!!! MUST SEE! You won't leave disappointed, you'll most likley leave with a smile on your face! But Cheyenne, the song "the internet is for porn" is with all the other males other than Rod.(: no worrries though! Awesome review. I agree1 00%!
Jesse Stathom October 05, 2012 at 10:54 PM
I'm a bit confused by "none-yah", you say you enjoy the show, yet you bash a positive review of the show? Your actions make no sense and hold zero value. You have zero problem voicing your opinion (and that's all it is), but you don't have the courage to state your name, you hide behind an unimaginative alias as if you're some sort of anonymous hero, saving the lives of the reader, but from what? For someone with no ties to stage 1 you know an awful lot about the board members. I've seen the show once before and I plan on coming again. By far the best show I've seen held at stage 1, ever! Music was great, set was great, actors were great, and the audience got behind every joke! The puppets looked amazing, the effects looked professionally made. The show was well thought out and executed perfectly! So for "none-yah" I'm a bit baffled by your comment and personal attack on Cheyenne, but you did get one thing right, the show is amazing! Great article Cheyenne!
Del October 09, 2012 at 04:46 AM
I agree with the original review. FANTASTIC show and a MUST see! I went the 2nd night and returned with friends the very next weekend. I have also seen Avenue Q twice before - once the national touring group and once, a local production. This troupe is OUTSTANDING. I haven't been to a Stage 1 production before and thought that perhaps they had 'imported' the singers. How lucky we are in this area to have such high caliber performers. The voices were amazing and the characterizations just delightful.

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