Standing ovation greets Avenue Q

The 2003 Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q has landed in Sydney, earning a standing ovation at its Opening Night performance at the Theatre Royal on Wednesday.

In front of a packed house, the cast was extremely well received at the Sydney opening and partied with guests into the night at the nearby Ivy Lounge in the Sydney CBD.

After a season in Melbourne earlier this year, Avenue Q is now settling into a limited season at the Theatre Royal before it tours the rest of the country.

Amongst the celebrities at Wednesday’s opening night were Michael Caton, Julian Morrow, David Wenham, Simon Burke, Tyran Parke and Zoe Ventoura.

Avenue Q is the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighborhood in his price range is Avenue Q; still, the neighbors seem nice. There’s Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fiancée Christmas Eve; Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his roommate Rod – a Republican investment banker who seems to have some sort of secret; an internet addict called Trekkie Monster; and a very cute kindergarten teaching assistant named Kate Monster. And would you believe the building’s superintendent is Gary Coleman?!? (Yes, that Gary Coleman.)

Their lives also intermingle with renowned nightclub singer, Lucy the Slut, and school principal, Mrs. Thistletwat. Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

The show is largely inspired by (and is in the style of) Sesame Street: Most of the characters in the show are puppets (operated by actors onstage), the set depicts several tenements on a rundown street in an “outer borough” of New York City, both the live characters and puppet characters sing, and short animated video clips are played as part of the story.

The Australian production stars Mitchell Butel, Michala Banas, Luke Joslin, Cherine Peck, Christina O’Neill, David James, Natalie Alexopoulos, Frank Hansen, Leah Howard, Josie Lane and Gus Murray.

Banas, best known for her television work, acts the role of Kate beautifully, while Joslin is the best of the male cast – his goofy but fun portrayl of Trekkie Monster in particular is hilarious.


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