Avenue Q, the outrageous and sassy Tony Award-winning musical described as “Sesame Street meets South Park,” will open at the historic ninety-seven-year-old Palace Theater on March 18 and run for three weeks.
This delightful and poignant Muppet parody from the writers of Book of Mormon and Frozen has been called the “funniest musical ever written” and dares to ask the question, “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” The show garnered three Tony Awards in 2004 for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book of a Musical, beating out the mega-blockbuster, Wicked. This funny, irreverent, and sometimes raunchy show conveys life’s tough lessons through the trials and tribulations of Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate who is anxious to discover his purpose in life. Still, first, he must find an apartment, a girlfriend, and a job! This toe-tapping, raucous, and often touching musical features Hilo’s brightest musical theater stars: Charles Bankhead Haines, Alexander Knapp, Jennie Kaneshiro, Danny Randerson, Sam Deitch, Kyden DeSa, Aleah Kay, and Tyler Dela Cruz.
“We were in rehearsal with the Mel Brooks musical, The Producers with a cast of 50 performers,” said Phillips Payson, the Executive Director of the Palace. “But due to quickly changing Covid restrictions, we were forced to quickly pivot our plans and switch to a smaller show with a cast of under 10. Our first idea was the uproarious Avenue Q which features eight quadruple threats: Singers, dancers, actors, and puppeteers! The show has turned out to be a perfect choice. The deliciously demented world of Avenue Q is full of outrageous and timely songs that impart lessons on such improbable subjects as porn, what it means to be gay today, racism, first love, interracial romance, and finding your purpose in life.” Phillips continued, “You will never look at puppets the same way again.”
The fresh, funny, and irreverent take on the joys and challenges of making it on your own strikes a chord with audiences young and old alike. But be forewarned due to strong language, adult situations (like full-frontal-puppet nudity), and mature themes, Avenue Q may be inappropriate for children.
Larry Reitzer directs Avenue Q. It features musical direction by Charles Bankhead Haines, choreography by Aleah Kay, and scenic and lighting design by Jeramy Boik. The show is being produced by Jason Green and Larry Reitzer, in association with the Hilo Education Arts Repertory Theatre (HEART), the team behind the record-breaking Palace production of Beauty and the Beast.
“Avenue Q will mark the first time in 42 months that the Palace has been allowed to sell a full house,” said Phillips Payson, the Executive Director of the theater. “Since 2018, operational capacity was reduced while maintenance and upgrades were made to the overhead sprinkler system. Then, of course, we had to limit seating capacity even further because of Covid. But now, the fire safety system is upgraded, and Covid capacity restrictions have been lifted. So, this is a huge deal, and we sincerely hope Hilo comes out to support the incredibly talented cast. Nothing would be greater for those performers than to see a sold-out house when the curtain goes up.”
Friday April 1st @ 7:00pm
Saturday April 2nd @ 7:00pm
Sunday April 3rd @ 2:30pm
Doors open one hour before showtime.
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW
$20 – General Admission
$35 – Super Patron Orchestra seating. Along with the extra legroom of orchestra seating, your Super Patron ticket purchase supports the continuing development of the Palace’s Live Theatre program by building a donation into your ticket price.
*All tickets $5 more on Day of Show
Tickets available now at http://hilopalace.com/hpt_event/avenue-q-the-musical/
Also available for purchase in person at the Palace Box Office or over the phone 808-934-7010, Mon-Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Photo credit: Nicholas Souza