If you want to talk about finding buried treasures in ones own backyard, imagine my surprise last night to find the Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center. After having canceled plans of going to a Cubs game, Kyle and I were off to find something to do. Thanks for a recent segment on WGN-TV, we knew that Avenue Q was being performed in the area.
Since I have been in love with the Broadway hit for years via online clips and the soundtrack, I thought it was finally time to see it in person. So after some quick checking online, we were off to see the hilarious musical that follows Princeton, a recent college grad, as he moves into a shabby apartment on Avenue Q in New York City.
The group Music on Stage was putting on the production, and let me tell you, I was impressed. Teresa Arnold, who played the girl next door Kate Munster, is phenomenal. Her stage presence is as grand as the high-class pair of shoes she was sporting during the show. Frankly, her shoes stole her performance.
My two other favorite actors were Deric Anthony Gochenauer, who played Rod the Republican, and Mike Miserendino, who played the main role of Princeton. Gochenauer owned the stage when he was on it. He brought life to his character. At one point, he was so involved in his own hilarious song, that he broke character. Fortunately, he recovered quickly.
Miserendino was splendid in his role. Of course, I loved his acting more because I could picture him being better placed in a more serious role than that of Princeton. Do not get me wrong, he was awesome in his role, but I bet he would be wonderful in a production such as Angels in America.
Though the rest of the cast does a great job, those are the three actors that were just above and beyond my expectations. Of course I would be re-miss if I did not point our Matt Scharlau. This actor, who played Brian - who is a human, not a puppet, was perfect for his role of a commando-going goofball. Scharlau played the role so well, that I have to wonder how much of it was acting and how much of it was just him being himself.
Anyway, the production was just awesome. Though my review is being written to late to encourage you to go see it as the show ends today, Music on Stage already has Kiss Me Kate scheduled to run September 28 - October 14 of this year. Because of their success with Avenue Q, I encourage everyone to make it to one of their future productions.
Also, whether it is a Music on Stage production or not, Cutting Hall must be seen. It is very unique in history and the decor is quiet interesting. Follow the links above to find out more about Cutting Hall and Music on Stage.