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NORTH BEND — The New Year at Little Theatre on the Bay opens with “Sesame Street meets South Park” in the smash-hit, "Avenue Q."

This delightful parody that dares to ask the question, “What do you do with a B.A. in English?” is on stage at the historic Liberty Theatre. Shows will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 10-12 and Jan. 17-19.

"Avenue Q" garnered three Tony Awards in 2004 for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book of a Musical, written by Coos Bay's very own born and raised Jeff Whitty.

This funny and irreverent 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. But first, he must find an apartment and a job, with no work experience — just like the other characters living on Avenue Q!

Join Princeton along with the Broadway puppets for this toe-tapping, hilarious and often moving musical that the New York Times declared to be “a breakthrough musical of a very different stripe ... savvy, sassy and delicious!" But, be forewarned, due to adult language and adult situations, "Avenue Q" may be inappropriate for children under 17.

The Little Theatre on the Bay production of "Avenue Q" features Scott Peters, who will head the cast as Princeton. Kate Monster will be played by Aymee Pedder, whom audiences adored last spring as Princess Fiona in LTOB’s "Shrek The Musical." Returning to the LTOB stage are Taylor Marchant as Nicky, Michael Slaska as Trekkie Monster, Anamaria Abarca as Christmas Eve and C.C. O’Bryan will portray Lucy the Slut. "Avenue Q" welcomes several newcomers to the Little Theatre on the Bay (but not new to the stage): Lauren Negrete, Tom Holt, Lorna Wolvin, Michele Moore and William Crombie. 

Director for the LTOB production of "Avenue Q" is Michael Pedder, who has directed "Addams Family The Musical" and "Shrek The Musical" at the Liberty Theatre. Pedder has had the privilege of advice from Jeff Whitty. Pedder recalled, “As we sat down to discuss our production, Jeff left me several things to think about. It’s not often that you get to speak with the writer of the Broadway musical you are producing! He told me to cast a group of people that you can share a beer with, be friends with and cast educated people because this is a smart show ... this stuck!” Pedder said the cast has really bonded over the course of rehearsals. And talk about a smart cast: between them, they have some 13 degrees, including master's degrees and even a doctor in the cast.

Whitty will be making an appearance during the run of the show. For one night only, Saturday, Jan. 12, The Liberty Theatre will be hosting a welcoming home for the Coos Bay native and Tony Award winner. “An Evening with Jeff Whitty” starts at 7 p.m. and will include a special Q and A session with Whitty and an exclusive auction that will take place throughout the evening with guest MC Coos Bay Mayor Joe Benetti. All auction items have been donated by the Whitty family and include exclusive "Avenue Q" memorabilia. Tickets to this special showing of "Avenue Q" are $50 per ticket.  

Tickets for all other showings are $15 each and can be purchased at The entire run of the show will go to benefit The Liberty Theatre Restoration project.

The irreverent take on the joys and travails of making it on your own strike a chord with audiences young and old alike. Don’t miss LTOB’s "Avenue Q"!

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