Avenue Q

Avenue Q… still hilarious, raw, rude, upbeat, funny, and sooooo special after so many years.

15 years and 6,538 performances to be exact. Tonight was initially going to be the closing performance of this Tony Award Best Musical at the New World Stages, but that didn’t happen. The show will now run through May 26th.

Go see this wonderful production while you still can!

Several of themes: adulthood, the internet (is for porn), everyone is a little racists, homosexuality, sex on stage, etc. are just as offending and as funny as I had remembered them. In today’s polarized and hyper-sensitive political climate, I wasn’t sure how I (or the audience) would have enjoyed the rough treatment of the topics, but I came out loving every minute of the show.

The puppetry is phenomenal. The energy on stage is incredible. Every character from Princeton and Kate Monster down to the Bad Idea Bears each added just the perfect touch to the overall narrative.

Bravos to the entire cast: Grace Choi, Matt Dengler, Jamie Glickman, Jason Jacoby, Nick Kohn, Veronica J. Kuehn, and Lacretta. Thank you for giving us another amazing and memorable evening.

Now let me massage my cheeks, cuz they’re sore from laughing too much.

Finally, Broadway trivia… I knew Avenue Q won the Tony Award for Best Musical, but I didn’t know until this week that Avenue Q beat Wicked for the award. Whaaaaaat. Wow!!!

Alice by Heart

Alice by Heart: Preview tonight at the MCC Theater.

Looooooove the choreography by Rick and Jeff of Kuperman Brothers. I would go back and see the show again just for the movements. WOW!! ❤️

Every single scene is filled continuous movements large and small… from “Chillin’ the Regrets” where the entire cast came together to become a caterpillar… to simple arm gestures that conveyed the affection between Alice and the White Rabbit in their duets.

The choreographies seamlessly incorporated the stage design, all kinds of props, creative costuming… as well as the vertical space. The cast told their stories on ladders, sang while climbing up and down poles, were continuously lifted over each other, and pulled through and under each other.

Gorgeous movements filled the 90+ minute show: Giving the characters an extra dimension to express their emotions. Setting the scene of a mysterious wonderland where caterpillars, birds, flamingos, turtles, lobsters, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and the Red Queen’s trial came to life.

By creating a whole new world through bodies and everyday objects, the choreographies allowed the audience to go inside of Alice… and see what she sees.

I also love the chemistry between the two leads Molly Gordon as Alice and Colton Ryan as Alfred. They showed us love, care, friendship, innocence, moments of happiness, and grief all at once.

I really enjoyed the script (the writing started nine years ago!) that overlaid the story of Alice and Alfred on top of Alice in Wonderland. The juxtapose aded yet another layer of mystery to the wonderland.

Finally, the multi-talented ensemble was absolutely amazing. Bravos to Mia DiLena, Zachary Downer, Noah Galvin, Zach Infante, Andrew Kober, Grace McLean, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Catherine Ricafort, Heath Saunders, and Wesley Taylor. Thank you for giving us a wonderful show!


Comfort Women

So glad to see the talented Genevieve Shi as the star in Comfort Women tonight! Go see the show, playing until September 2nd at Peter Jay Sharp Theater (42nd Street).

The storytelling was incredible bringing humanity, compassion, and hope to a difficult chapter in East Asian history — when over 200,000 women were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.

The movements and dance choreographies were absolutely stunning. The traumatic scenes of rape and death were powerful and well done. The singing was amazing. I also like the creative stage design and props (e.g., umbrella scene, bed check scene). Did I mention this Off-Broadway show features an all-Asian cast and is directed by an East Asian director?

While I went into the theater expecting a lesson on history, unfortunately, all the painful events of the 1940s are still highly relevant today.

First, the hatred of one race towards another (for no reason other than based on where a person is born) is not only on the rise but being amplified and celebrated by some.

Second, [SPOILER ALERT] in tonight’s story, the enslaved women escaped with the help of the American army. The United States’ actions in WWII earned the goodwill of many East Asian nations. The US has held unparalleled world moral leadership for the past 70 years. For anyone who wants to understand how the US got its world standing, come see this show.

Yet, it’s mortifying if not devastating to see the US throwing its own values, trashing its own image, and behaving today more like a plundering imperial army than the liberating force it once was.

Cruel Intentions

I had a fun evening at Cruel Intentions, the 90s Musical Experience!!! The show is playing at (le) Poisson Rouge through February. Go check them out!

Carrie St. Louis, Constantine Rousouli, and Jessie Shelton were amazing as Annette, Sebastian, and Cecile. Glad to see Lauren Zakrin again too. (Still so bummed that the Great Comet closed so abruptly!)

Delivered mostly without props, the show is catchy and filled with a non-stop stream the best of 90s music. Backstreet Boys! Sixpence None the Richer! I love how the show skillfully mixed the lyrics and the script, turning them into singing duals, and played with the words to create memorable moments in the story line (e.g., No Scrubs!).