Avenue Q, opening at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre May 29, features a delightful blend of a cast of humans and puppets in a plot that tackles subjects such as dating, racism, internet porn, being gay and finding a purpose in life. In short, Avenue Q is about community, and the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre and School of Theatre Arts’ is the first community theatre in Grand Rapids to produce this (2004) Tony Awarding Winning piece.

This modern day musical focuses on a group of unique 20-somethings who are making their way in the big city. Filled with pop-culture references, adult issues, and yes, puppets; this story contains adult content and is not recommended for children.

“Everyone coming in the door should understand that this play contains four of the seven words you CAN’T say on television,” warns guest director Scott Mellema. “It isn’t a piece for the faint of heart, but it IS entertaining, funny, touching and smart. The show is about real life spoken through the voices of young adults. It takes over where Sesame Street left us; instead of learning about numbers, letters, and how to use good manners, Avenue Q talks to adults about subjects like racism, being unemployed and the pitfalls of a one-night stand.”

Mellema guest directed Les Miserables at the Civic Theatre last season and is no stranger to the talent pool West Michigan has to offer. “The cast is incredible,” beamed Mellema, “their energy and commitment to the project has been excellent. Every performer is bringing an unbelievable passion to the work, for many of them Avenue Q was THE show that they really set their sights on this year. Case in point, we have an actor who traveled half way around the world for a chance to audition for her role in this piece. It is a Tony Award Winner for Best Musical, but one that isn’t performed frequently due to the technical difficulty. Puppets do not equate to simplicity in this case”.

For information on the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre or to purchase tickets, call 616-222-6650 or visit www.GRCT.org. Ticket Prices range from $18 to $35


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