Avenue Q Review - Bill Axtell
Thanks for arranging everything for us to come & for me to meet George Smith, whom I consider to be one of the great visionaries among the 37 Calgary Theatres! Bravo to you and your ultra talented cast members for delivering such a stunning "media night" performance!
All 7 cast members "shot over the moon" with a DOUBLE acting workload in every scene...acting both for the human actor within you and also, simultaneously, acting for the puppet or, sometimes even for two puppets, yet in your arms at all times; not to mention the ultra high number of both character changes and character EXCHANGES among you all. Avenue Q, the three-time Tony Award-winning Broadway smash hit musical, still running continuously in New York for 8 years, is such a massive and complex work to undertake at Calgary's Storybook Theatre, yet all of you pulled it off to exceedingly high production values, thanks also to George's talented direction, his special director's touches constantly visible.
All 7 vocalists, with unexpectedly amazing, bold, obviously trained voices, belted out your songs with explicit clarity, often to the top of my personal "goose bump" scale! The band performed the often stirring music far beyond the anticipated limits for six pieces. I loved the power point and especially the graphic animation used in its novel display. Best of all, it was a thrill to witness the great redemption of the characters at the so-uplifting finale.
You people highly derserved all the cheers, shouts, whistles, wild applause and, yes, the standing ovation that brought down the final curtain. It was heart warming to see such great industry support for your magnificent preview...what a kick-off! A million thanks to you and to Director George Smith for arranging for us to be a part of your thrilling opening night success! ~Bill Axtell, Theatre Critic and Contributing Journalist.