|Rod (photo by Emily Cooper)
by Jay Catterson
Director/choreographer Peter Jorgensen really has to be commended here for steering a production of this calibre, delivering the show with all the humour and heart of Jeff Whitty's hilariously stellar book and Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx's delightfully spunky score intact. The band, led by musical director Sean Bayntun is tight, and the cast is outstanding, especially Andrew MacDonald-Smith who plays the wide-eyed Princeton and closeted Rod (Macdonald-Smith is no stranger to the role; he actually made his Broadway debut in Avenue Q at the Golden Theatre in 2006) and Kayla Dunbar who plays Kate Monster/Lucy. The set design by Marshall McMahen is effective and evocative of Sesame Street-meets-skid row (his set is by far the best set design I've seen at the Arts Club in the last five years; not bad for his Arts Club debut!), and really lends itself to bringing the puppets by original Broadway cast member/puppeteer Rick Lyon to life.