Nobody had ever seen a musical like “Avenue Q” when it opened off-Broadway in 2003.
The clever satire with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and a book by Jeff Whitty examines the disillusionment of Generation X — young people raised on “Sesame Street” who, after years of being told they were special and could be and do anything they wanted, discovered that reality was quite different. The show won three Tony Awards in 2004.
The Barn Players production opens Friday, April 17, and runs through May 3. Eric Magnus directs a cast that includes Preston O’ffill, Betsy Bledsoe, Andrew Joseph Brown, James Levy, Mark Murphy, Ai Vy Bui, Evan Lovelace, Reed Uthe, Whitney Armstrong, Jake Leet, Ali Watson, Kelsie Clark, Ethan Platt, Sharon Kwon and Kristen Altoro. The musical director is Kevin Hershberger.
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▪ Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, 3614 Main St., continues its season with Alfred Uhry’s “The Last Night of Ballyhoo,” a serious comedy that examines issues of ethnic identity and assimilation in its depiction of a Jewish upper middle-class family in Atlanta in the 1930s. Uhry is best known as the author of “Driving Miss Daisy.”
The MET production, directed by Karen Paisley, features a cast of veterans and younger performers, including Brie Henderson, Danelle Drury, Licia Watson, Scott Cox, Kyle Dyck, Erin Renee Grey and Mike Ott. Performances begin Thursday, April 16, and continue through May 3. Call 816-569-3226 or go to METKC.org
▪ Late Night Theatre, which has revived its irreverent brand of comedy at Missie B’s, the celebrated midtown drag club, brings back one of the classics from its hey-day: “The Birds,” billed as a “tribute” to the Alfred Hitchcock fright flick about what happens when all species of birds inexplicably wage war on humans.
The show, written and directed by Ron Megee, features an all-male cast that includes Megee as Tippi Hedren, Jon Cupit as Suzanne Pleshette, Gary Campbell as Pretty Cathy, Bill Pelletier as Alfred Hitchchock, Chris Holbrook as Mitch, Ray Ettinger as Jessica Tandy, Ryan Gove as Bird Woman and Ryan Laws and Ryan Matthew Chambers as the Bird Boys.