You-review-it Monday: 'Avenue Q' and more

June 6, 2011
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For me, a busy weekend included a visit to "Avenue Q" at the Phoenix Theatre in its regional theater premiere (to be reviewed in the June 13 IBJ), a concert by Jimmy Webb and Glen Campbell at the Palladium (watch for more comments here on the blog), and, if you count Thursday, "Glee in Concert" (see review here).

I also finished--and was disappointed by--Albert Brooks' novel "2030." Set partially in Indianapolis (although our city seems to have been chosen at random by the author given there's no detail whatsoever), the outstanding comic and nerve-wrackingly hilarious filmmaker ("Modern Romance," "Lost in America") has the smarts but not the skill to breathe life into his satiric vision of life in the near future.

I also rewatched the film version of "Phantom of the Opera" with my daughter. We may be the only two people in the world who think it's better than the blah stage show.

Your thoughts? 

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  • Avenue Q
    I headed straight here to say how terrific I think "Avenue Q" is. Given how much I also enjoyed their production of "Urinetown," thr Phoenix needs to do more musicals! I had never seen the show so cannot compare it to other productions (although during intermission one audience member was complaining to the box office worker about the "liberties" which had been taken with it). Still, I cannot imagine seeing it in a venue like Clowes Hall -- the Phoenix seemed like the perfect size for the show. The entire company did a tremendous job. Nice, puppets, too! Only disappointing thing: the theatre was only about two-thirds full.
  • Vintage Indiana
    Spent a hot, sultry Saturday at Vintage Indiana Wine & Food Festival in Military Park. This event continues to be one of the city's best days of late spring: great food, outstanding wine, excellent entertainment.
  • Avenue Q
    Avenue Q was absolutely fabulous! It was sold out on Saturday night. The talent displayed got and deserved a standing ovation. The puppets were very well designed and the actors did a tremendous job with them. I thought the production was very creative. We plan to tell everyone how good it was and plan to sdee it again.
  • Ave Q fantastic
    I got to see Ave Q from the front row on opening night and just loved it! Was so well done-- each and every player was superb!! Well done-- should all be very proud, I know I am so proud of our Indy art scene!!!
  • liberties?
    Pasquale,

    I'm curious what liberties the person you mentioned thought the Phoenix had taken.

    By intermission, the only thing I noticed was a different breakdown regarding who was doubling what roles.

    I checked with a Phoenix Theatre rep, who confirmed that no changes were made to the script. Note that there are some differences between the licensed version and the original Broadway and tour (no George Bush references, for instance).

    --Lou
  • The Double Hour
    I saw the terrific Italian film "The Double Hour" at Keystone Arts. The film maker artfully leads you down the wrong path more than once but getting to the finale is more than worth it. I'm looking forward to the June 17th performance of Avenue Q. Thanks for all your great comments.
  • New musicals
    Before I give my take on Ave Q, just wanted to say I saw Frankenstein the musical at Buck Creek this weekend as well. I went in knowing nothing about it, but it is a very challenging show for community theatre, that requires a strong voices as it is much more an opera than traditional musical. There are some great performances thanks to a vocally strong ensemble. Also terrific, professional looking set design and lighting. Check it out if you are in the mood to discover something different from the usual community theatre musical offerings.

    Having seen Ave Q on broadway and touring production, I can say that Phoenix did a really nice job. Way before I knew Phoenix would do it, I wondered how well it would translate to regional productions, given they far less time to master puppetry and expertise than what was employed for the broadway production. It didn't matter. The show was still superb. Haven taken someone with me who had never heard of Ave Q before that afternoon when I asked her to go, I am glad this is show is running for an extended time for audiences to discover it. And while it holds true to the original, I applaud the phoenix and the performers for occasionally making some original choices as any production should.
  • Off-topic... Awesome Theater
    Sorry Lou to jump off-topic for this thread (and I won't make another peep about it on this thread), but I thought I would copy and past my post from the other thread in case some don't look back at older threads...

    Hey Open, were you in Austin, TX lately?
    http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/06/07/6804530-crazed-movie-customers-voice-mail-backfires?GT1=43001

    This was on MSN's homepage today... and since we've been talking about it, I thought others would enjoy. I wish more theaters here would have this policy. I love that this theater has been doing this since 1997... even better that they made a YouTube commercial out of it (press play at the bottom).

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