QUEEN OF ARTS: Geva Theatre Kicks Off Summer with Avenue Q
BY DAWN KELLOG | PHOTOS BY ROBERT TUCKER
Over the past several years, Geva has offered up some top-notch summer fare on their stages. This year Geva kicks off summer with the Tony Award-winning musical, Avenue Q in the Wilson Mainstage from June 28 through July 21.
Welcome to Avenue Q, the outrageous neighborhood where anything goes. Princeton has recently graduated from college and moves into a rundown, New York City apartment on Avenue Q. With the help of a colorful cast of characters, Princeton discovers his true purpose in life. NOTE: Avenue Q contains mature language and situations and is not suitable for children (but if you bring your teens, they’ll think you’re really cool!).
Jeff Whitty (book), along with Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (music and lyrics) originally conceived Avenue Q as a TV series. The show was developed as a stage production in 2002 at the National Music Theatre Conference in the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. It opened Off-Broadway in March of 2003 and transferred to Broadway four months later where it triumphed over the season’s other big hit, Wicked, to win the Tony Triple Crown: the award for Best Musical and, for Whitty, Lopez and Marx, Tony’s for Best Original Book and Best Original Score. Las Vegas and London productions followed and the show has now become a worldwide phenomenon. With 2,534 performances Avenue Q is one of Broadway’s longest running shows and it continues to play as an Off-Broadway production. Incidentally, Rochester has its own unique connection to the creation of Avenue Q. Rick Lyon, the creator of the puppets for the Tony Award-winning Broadway production and one of Avenue Q’s original cast members, is originally from Rochester.
The production of Avenue Q comes to Rochester from Cape Rep Theatre on Cape Cod where it premiered last season to sold-out
houses. Tickets are going fast for this limited Rochester run which first went on sale to Geva subscribers in March and to the general public on May 16.
The cast for Avenue Q features Morgan West (Princeton/Rod), Jessica Albon (Kate Monster/Lucy), Jared Hagan (Nicky/Trekkie/Bad Idea Bear), Holly Erin McCarthy (Mrs. T/Bad Idea Bear), Andrew Ford (Brian), Kako Kitano (Christmas Eve), Darlene Van Alstyne (Gary Coleman).
Avenue Q is directed by Kristin McLaughlin and the Musical Director is Don Kot. The artistic team includes Ryan McGettigan (Scenic Designer), Robin McLaughlin (Costume Design) and Herrick Goldman (Lighting Design).
Avenue Q will be followed in the Mainstage by The Tribute to Sir Elton John and Billy Joel. Tickets are available for that show which runs from July 27 – August 11.
Visit www.gevatheatre.org for ticket information.
Founded in 1972, Geva Theatre Center is a not-for-profit, professional theatre company dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre productions, programs and services of a national standard. As Rochester’s leading professional theatre, Geva Theatre Center is the most attended regional theatre in New York State, and one of the 25 most attended in the country, attracting over 170,000 patrons annually, including more than 16,000 students.
Geva Theatre Center offers a wide variety of educational, outreach and literary programs, nurturing audiences and artists alike. Since 1995 the organization has been led by Artistic Director Mark Cuddy.