Avenue Q

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Winner of the TONY® “TRIPLE CROWN” for BEST MUSICAL, BEST SCORE and BEST BOOK, AVENUE Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart. Don’t miss out on this chance to save big on this long-running Broadway hit!

AVENUE Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named PRINCETON who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets KATE (the girl next door), ROD (the Republican), TREKKIE (the internet sexpert), LUCY THE SLUT (need we say more?), and other colorful types who help PRINCETON finally discover his purpose in life!

 

Paul Finocchiaro (Director) has directed and/or directed and choreographed more than 40 productions in the past 12 years. A native of the Boston area, he received a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre with a minor in Dance from The Boston Conservatory and an M.F.A. in Theatre Arts from The University of Nevada Las Vegas. Currently He is a professor of Theatre and Dance at The University of Tampa.  He is delighted to be making his Tampa directing debut at StageWorks in Avenue Q.  Previous productions include I Hate Hamlet, 42nd Street, Rent, Thoroughly Modern Millie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Twelve Angry Men, Harvey, Damn Yankees, A Chorus Line and many more.  Before getting his M.F.A., Paul was a singer/dancer/actor all over the world doing National tours, European tours, Regional theatres, Cruise Ships and performed as a singer dancer in Las Vegas for eleven years working with such stars as Michael Crawford, David Cassidy, Sheena Easton, Chita Rivera and Vanessa Williams.

THOMAS D. GUTHRIE (Music Director) holds a B.M. in Music Education from Miami University – Oxford, OH and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education/Behavior Psychology from Xavier University – Cincinnati, OH. Thomas retired to St. Petersburg from Cincinnati, Oh. after a lengthy career teaching music (choral, piano, guitar, band), directing/performing theater as well as serving as a full time church organist. Prior to moving to St. Petersburg, Thomas taught ‘Music Theatre Voice’ at the Prep Department of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He spent several years as a freelance Music Director while residing in New York City. Thomas has directed, produced, accompanied, and/or overseen 100+ productions, accompanied for The Broadway Theatre Project, Three Broadway Tenors, Five Broadway Divas, and served as an adjudicator for the Florida State Thespian Conference. He also coaches and teaches private voice from his home studio as well as teaches/accompanies a Music Theater Workshop at St. Pete College.Tampa Bay theatre credits include:M.A.D. Theater, American Stage, Freefall Theatre, Manatee Players, The Players-Sarasota, Eight O’Clock Theatre, & St Petersburg City Theatre (Artistic Director).

 

RICKY CONA is a native of Tampa, FL and a graduate of the University of South Florida with a BA in Communication as Performance. He resides in Central Florida, where he can be seen performing in several different shows at Universal Orlando Resort, including the workshop cast for the Ragtime Gals, the entertainment offering for the new Jimmy Fallon attraction now open! Other notable credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), RENT (Angel), and Big River (Huck Finn). Ricky is elated to be back home at Stageworks and thanks Karla and Paul for this wonderful opportunity. To my family and friends, thank you for the constant support. I love you! Justin Lore…shut up!

 

Derek Baxter (Brian) is overjoyed to be returning to Stageworks after portraying Jane/Lord Edgar in the fast-paced spoof, The Mystery of Irma Vep, a few years ago. He currently works at Busch Gardens Tampa costarring alongside his amazing furry and feathered friends in Opening Night Critters and creeping out the crowds as Igor in Fiends during Howl-O-Scream. After attending NYU Tisch School of the Arts for Musical Theatre Derek has performed locally and internationally for Disney, Feld Entertainment, Show Palace Dinner Theatre, American Stage, and The Straz just to name a few. He wants to thank this amazing cast, crew, and production team for this amazing experience. Special thank you to Caitlin, the ‘rents, all of my amazing friends and family, and God.

 

Cody Carlson (Nicky/Treckie) – Cody is excited to make his Stageworks debut with one of his favorite shows and an amazingly talented group of people. Most recently, he finished a run of Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas) at New Tampa Players and Spring Awakening (Hanchen) with mad Theatre. Tarpon audiences may remember his roles in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Joseph), The King and I (Lun Tha), My Fair Lady (Freddy), 1776 (Courier), Baby the Musical (Danny) and Hello, Dolly! (Ambrose). One of his favorite activities would have to be scare acting at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream for six years and playing the character of Dr. Truth at The Vault of Souls, a premier haunt experience of Downtown Tampa. Cody’s passion has always been performing, ever since he was hamming it up in elementary school productions. Cody comes from a very supportive (yet very loud) Italian family, and would like thank them for always believing in him and giving him the tools to craft his art.

 

Julia Rifino (KATE MONSTER/LUCY) is delighted to make her professional debut with Stageworks Theatre! Julia is a recent graduate of the University of Tampa with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Studio Art. Her collegiate credits include her roles as Eileen Evergreen in Nice Work If You Can Get IT (2016); Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show (2015); and Cosette in Les Misérables (2014). Julia is also excited to announce that, beginning in August of this year, she will be furthering her education as an acting intern with Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers, FL. She wishes to thank Paul Finocchiaro for this wonderful opportunity and his continued faith and guidance, as well as her incredible family and friends for their constant love and support.

 

Caitlin Greene (Christmas Eve) proudly makes her Stageworks debut in a bucket list role. Regional credits include Silence! The Musical (Jobsite Theater), Soundsational! (Busch Gardens), Grinchmas Wholiday Spectacular (Universal Studios). Other favorites include The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Edwin Drood), The Pajama Game (Babe Williams), Songs For A New World and Edges. She is happy to be playing a psychologist, graduating from the likes of Lucy the Slut in a previous production of Avenue Q.

 

Ashley Lord (Bad Idea Bear)is more than thrilled to make her Stageworks debut. Since moving to Tampa 2 years ago, Ashley has performed as a lady, dressed as a man, dressed as a lady in La Cage Aux Folles at CWP, had “a bee’s knees” of a time as “Millie” at Spanish Lyric Theatre, and was eaten by a giant plant as “Audrey” at Dreamhouse Theatre. In her daily life, Ashley also works behind a puppet as the program coordinator and trainer for the Kids on the Block program at Champions for Children who travel around to all the Hillsborough County Elementary Schools teaching kids about child abuse and bullying prevention. She would like to thank her biggest supporter and fan, her husband, Bean and her pet baby dragon Zelda, mountain goat Jim, and feisty Pook. HI, JENNY!

 

Ryan M. Sturm (Bad Idea Bear) is pleased as punch to be making his Stageworks Theatre debut! You may have seen him a minute ago in Jobsite Theater’s Silence! The Musical (Dr. Chilton/Lamb) or on the other side of the bridge in The Mystery of Irma Vep (Jane/Lord Edgar). Past favorites include Godspell (Nick), Cabaret (Cliff), Urinetown (Billy Boy Bill), You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Schroeder), A Funny Thing Happened… (Psuedolus) and three years in entertainment at Walt Disney World. An enormous thank you to Paul and team for letting me play with the cool kids; cast and crew for your brilliance – you’re the cool kids, after all; and, as always, to mom and dad. Much peace and love, all.

 

Jade Turner (Gary Coleman) is a proud graduate of the Musical Theatre program at the University of Tampa. She is so excited for the opportunity to work on her first professional show with such a talented cast and crew. Her previous credits include Beehive (Woman 3/ Jasmine) West Side Story (Anita), Thoroughly Modern Millie, (Muzzy), Rocky Horror (Eddie), The Wiz, (Aunt Em), Bright Ideas, (Genevra) Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge, (Ghost of xmas past/present/future) and her ensemble credits are Rent, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Godspell, Sleepy Hollow and Anything Goes. After the conclusion of this run, she moving to New York City, eating lots of ramen and in turn happily becoming a starving artist! Jade would like to thank Mollie, Gloria, Irv, Kelly and her family and friends for their endless love and support.

Amanda Zappia (Production Stage Manager)  is happy to be back at Stageworks as stage manager for the second to last time. She will be jetting off to England in October to pursue her MFA in theatre performance at East 15 Acting School. She is grateful for all of the opportunities Karla has given her during her stay in Tampa and hopes everyone can find in Stageworks what she has. She wants to thank her parents and Thomas Morgan for their continued support in all she does and she wants to thank you for supporting local theatre. None of us would be here without you.