Sat12202014

Stepping Out

A delightful drive down ‘Avenue Q’


Photo By: JOYCE GOLDSCHMID/SPECIAL TO THE TOWN CRIER
Photo Joyce Goldschmid/Special To The Town Crier

Los Altos Stage Company’s production of “Avenue Q” features, from left, David Mister (as Trekkie Monster), Nicole Julien (Gary) Coleman and Warren Wernick (Nicky).

The verdict is in concerning Los Altos Stage Company’s production of “Avenue Q.” The decision: Guilty of being hilarious.

The play’s main characters are puppets, each with human actors as their alter egos. It’s a musical about Princeton (Foothill College student Anthony Chan), a young, rudderless college graduate pushing 30 who is trying to find purpose in life. His love interest, Kate Monster (Mylissa Malley), yearns for a meaningful way to help needy monster children. The sexy and voluptuous Lucy (Cassie Blake) vies for Princeton’s interest.

Nicky (Warren Wernick) is jobless and lazy but nice. Rod (Tomas Theriot) is a closeted investment banker who allows Nicky to live rent-free in his apartment. Both actors are veterans of Bus Barn Stage Company, which in April changed its name to Los Altos Stage Company.

Other main characters include puppets Trekkie Monster (David Mister), who sounds an awful lot like Cookie Monster of “Sesame Street” fame, and Gary Coleman (Nicole Julien), a former child actor, now superintendent of an apartment house on Avenue Q, along with human characters Brian (Adam Cotugno) and Christmas Eve (Kathryn Han), who eventually marry.

Supporting characters Bad Idea Bears (Mark Sanders and Jen Wheatonfox, who also plays Mrs. T) round out the cast.

A band with Mark Hanson on keyboard, Ryan Delpier on bass and Mark Cepeda on drums ably accompanied the songs and music, reminiscent of “Sesame Street” ditties.

Director Michael Ryken said that the actors also work the puppets to reflect the dialogue and songs. The technique required training by a professional puppeteer, and that their arms ached until they got used to holding them up throughout the play.

“Avenue Q” contains mature content not appropriate for children, but most adults should love the music and risqué comedy.

Performances are scheduled 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sunday and 3 p.m. June 16. For tickets ($18-$36) and more information, call 941-0551 or visit www.losaltosstage.org.

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