Avenue Q: A Theatrical Review
DOMA Theatre Company has another hit on their stage with their current run of Avenue Q, book by Jeff Whitty and Music and Lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. This production beautifully directed by Richard Israel with exceptional musical direction by Chris Raymond and choreography by Angela Todaro is worth the time and effort needed to experience it. The production does contain adult content and is intended for mature and culturally aware audiences, but is a production that attacks the reality of the world today head on and gives both guidance and wisdom on how to best deal with the world we are in.
This production that asks the hard questions so many in America have on their minds but are not ready to ask openly does so with a great deal of comedic intelligence. “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English”? What is our individual “Purpose”? Is everyone truly “A Little Bit Racist”? Do a vast majority of people who use the internet use it as much for “Porn” as much as they do for anything else? Is it true that “Fantasies Come True”? Is it true that the more you “Help Someone Else, The More You Help Yourself”? These are all questions that we, the public, have in our hearts and minds each and every day of our lives, and are asked straight forward in this production. And on top of these powerful questions, there are very powerful performers who deliver each and every one of them with a comical and sound expertise that makes this production worthy of recognition from the Hollywood Theater Community.
Chris Kauffmann, who brilliantly portrays both Princeton and Rod, is a powerful young performer with a great voice, a strong exuberance, and a stage presence that keeps the eyes of every audience member on him every moment he is on the stage. Danielle Judovits, portraying Kate Monster, Lucy, and others does so with a delightful and witty flair that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish. Benai Boyd, who portrays Gary Coleman, is a powerhouse performer that captures the audience with awe and takes them on a delightful journey through truth with each and every note and word she utters. Mark Whitten, portraying Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Bear, and others, carries the power of the show with his bass notes, comical wit, and effervescent personality. To this powerhouse group of performers are a group of supporting performers, Libby Letlow, Janelle Dote, and others that keep the show moving with an amazing power that is needed in this high energy production.
Though there are some individual parts of this production that are over the top, bordering on indulgence of arrogance, disrespect, personal selfishness, and sexual promiscuity, the story line tells the truth that these mannerisms never give people the fulfillment that they long for. Along with an amazing band, a great set by Staci Walters, intelligent technical direction by Jason Henderson (Lighting by Johnny Ryman and Sound by David Crawford), as well as obviously very capable stage management by Nicholas Acciani, there are literally a host of people that make this production as powerful as it is. As with any production, this show would not work without the help, guidance, love, and hard work that each and every person puts into it, and I applaud the effort expended by each and every one of them. Thank you for working so hard, caring so much, and dedicating yourselves to good art, you are the reasons why great theatre is still alive and well in Los Angeles today.
Winding up a highly ambitious and critically acclaimed 2012 season that has placed them on the map of powerhouse theatres in Los Angeles, the DOMA Theatre Company has had an amazing year. This Sesame Street meet South Park style production may not be everyone’s personal favorite, but it is more than worth the time to see it. The production running November 9 through December 16 at the delightful but intimate MET Theatre in Hollywood, CA holds performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM and Sundays at 3PM (and 7:30PM on November 11 and 18). General admission is just $30 per person with special VIP seating at $34.99 each, and special $20 seating for seniors and students with identification. A new (different) and larger parking area just west of the theatre behind the Catalina Market down the alley between Oxford and Western is secured with attendants present and only $5.00. This show is likely to sell out early for each and every one of their performances, so make your reservations now by calling 323-802-4990 or logging onto the internet at www.domatheatre.com.
The California Theatre Critic – Yahoo International