Stephanie D’Abruzzo is enormously talented. She is a puppeteer and has been working on television for nearly a decade. She is currently starring in the Broadway musical Avenue Q. about a group of twenty and thirty-something friends, some people, and some puppets, living and loving in New York. I had the opportunity to see her live in this Tony Nominated role (2004- Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical) as Kate Monster and Lucy T. Slut. It’s amazing how she, along with so many others, can give a piece of foam so much character and energy.
Avenue Q. itself is the funniest show on Broadway right now. Although the puppets are cute, this show is most defiantly not for children. It’s basically Sesame Street for adults. The characters deal with issues of money, homosexuality, sex, racism, porn and finding your purpose in life in an often times hilarious, but surprisingly poignant way.
Stephanie lost the Tony to Idina Menzel for Wicked, but Avenue Q. went on to with the Tonys for best Score, Book, and Best Musical. Stephanie was pure magic. She not only played the loveable loser Kate Monster, but also the voluptuous Lucy The Slut. Stephanie showed great range playing both characters, often in the same scene, having arguments with each other. She was brilliantly funny in the delivery of her lines. When singing the show’s ballad “Fine, Fine Line” there was complete silence in the theatre, something I have never witnessed before, and then thunderous applause as the song ended. The cast got a standing ovation from the very beginning of curtain call. There was such great respect for her and her costars.
She is entering her third year (July 2005) on Avenue Q, which is an extremely long time for someone to stay on one show. In fact, she’s the only person nominated for a 2004 acting Tony to still be playing the same role. Stephanie has said in interviews that she would like to do and has auditioned for other roles outside of puppetry, but people seem to only see her as a puppeteer. I really wish the best for her, and hope she finds the success she’s looking for.