Get Out of SF – Especially on “Out” Night When the Willows Theatre Puts “Avenue Q” on the Map By Kevin M. Thomas

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There’s no reason to wait for “Avenue Q” to go back to San Francisco because the Willows Theatre in Martinez has all that you need – on and off the stage.

I was there on the first ever LGBT night benefiting the Rainbow Community Center in Concord, and it was a perfect night.

Vince Calise (left, one of the generous donors of Club 1220) and blue eyed and sexy Nick join David Faustina, the marketing director of the Willows, and our Kevin Thomas at the Willows first ever GLBT night.

Vince Calise (left, one of the generous donors of Club 1220) and blue eyed and sexy Nick join David Faustina, the marketing director of the Willows, and our Kevin Thomas at the Willows first ever GLBT night.

The special cocktail hour showcasing 15 different signature drinks saluting “Avenue Q” where big hits with the fun crowd of the gays in the East Bay. Who would have thought you’d find so many queens in Martinez? Turns out some were so excited by the show, they actually came from the City. And those City folk know, they seldom cross the bridge to the East Bay. They were lucky to a have made the trip as this show’s production values were on par with the current off-Broadway show.

After we enjoyed our cocktail hour, we were all brought into the theatre to see this amazing production. This is probably the best production ever put on by the Willows Theatre. In talking with David Faustina, the theatre’s director of marketing, they even made their own puppets instead of renting them from the New York production. Their creations were brilliant – I think even better than New York.

Kevin with Isiah Boyd (who makes a sexy Gary Coleman) and Jordan LeLong.

Kevin with Isiah Boyd (who makes a sexy Gary Coleman) and Jordan LeLong.

Kevin with "Princeton" and John Gay from the show.

Kevin with "Princeton" and John Gay from the show.

The cast of actors were also unbelievable. Yes everyone was wonderful and deserves praise. But Isiah Boyd in the role of Avenue Q’s landlord Gary Coleman (yes, the former child star) is easily a standout. Boyd is definitely a triple threat as he is an amazing singer, sexy dancer and a wonderful actor. And, wow he’s cute too. He also just turned 18 so guess I will remain single for awhile.

After the show, the party continued in the lobby where the actors and their puppets where mingling with the insatiable crowd that had so much fun they just would not leave!

Time is ticking to see “Avenue Q” as it leaves the Willows on August 1. This is truly one of those shows that San Franciscans should make the journey over the Bridge. It’s a hell of a lot of cheaper in Martinez and you can eat and drink during the show.

As a special incentive, they are giving Progressive Pulse readers a special rate. Simply call (not email or online) 925-798-1300 and mention Progressive Pulse and your tickets will only be $25 each!

Check out the show at www.willowstheatre.org.