Sweet Briar Theatre stages concert version of ‘Avenue Q,’ a funny musical – Sweet Briar College

From left are Taylor Watson, Erin Snyder, Isabella DePaulo, Amber Snyder and Sydney Goldman. Photo by Kylene Hayslett.

Sweet Briar Theatre will present its fall production, a concert presentation of “Avenue Q,” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, 13 and 14, and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 15, in Murchison Lane Auditorium at Babcock Fine Arts Center. Melora Kordos, assistant professor of theater, will direct.

Billed as “the funniest show in town” on its website, “Avenue Q” is a “Tony Award Triple Crown” winner, having won Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book in 2004. Jeff Whitty wrote the book, while Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx share credit for music and lyrics.

Ben Brantley of The New York Times marveled at the staying power of the “singing, occasionally foulmouthed hand puppets of ‘Avenue Q,’” after the “‘Sesame Street’-style musical for adults who can’t quite believe they’ve grown up” reopened Off Broadway in 2009. It had lasted six years on Broadway, Brantley noted, “long after more full-bodied competition [had] bitten the dust.”

Like “Sesame Street,” the show calls for human actors to interact with puppets, who are operated by people visible on stage. Being a puppet, even in a concert version, has taken some adjustment, says Amber Snyder ’20. She plays Nicky in her first major role in a theater production.

“There isn’t as much movement as there would be in a full-staged production, but the puppets are still moving around a lot,” she said. “Sometimes I feel like I need two more arms!”

The story satirizes the realities of becoming adults by characters who grew up being told they could do anything.

Bella DePaulo ’20 is Princeton, the “bright-eyed college grad” who “arrives in the city with big dreams and a tiny bank account [and] has to move into a shabby apartment all the way out on Avenue Q,” according to the website. Erin Snyder ’20 plays the girl next door, Kate Monster.

Snyder, in her first lead, agreed working…

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