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Avenue Q

How can you not like a musical puppet show that looks a little like Sesame Street but sounds more like South Park? Director Richard Israel's charming local production of the Tony Award-winning musical proves that the show plays brilliantly on a small, intimate stage. After all, Avenue Q is at its heart a puppet show, and what's the point if you're so far back in the house you can't see the puppets? Utilizing a fast-paced staging that's rich with youthful energy, as well as angst, the show boasts some hilarious and surprisingly subtle performers, who also manipulate their puppet characters with style and acrobatic skill. Admittedly, the show is essentially a straightforward staging of the Broadway script — a nice introduction to the work, but if you've already seen the play, it's not certain that this production adds much to it. Still, it's easy to enjoy Chris Kauffman's amusingly ironic turn as mousy puppet Princeton, and Danielle Judovits' beautifully vulnerable Kate Monster — and it's fun to experience the lively renditions of peppy ditties on topics as diverse as masturbation, racism and puppet sex. Doma Theatre Co. at the Met Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave, Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through Dec. 16. (323) 802-4990, domatheatre.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Nov. 9. Continues through Feb. 3, 2012

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