Nudes, brews and “Avenue Q”: laughs and alcohol mix at Hosch Theatre

Patrons can enjoy adult beverages and puppet nudity at the Gainesville Theatre Alliance’s production of the R-rated musical comedy “Avenue Q” at Brenau University’s Hosch Theatre.

From left to right: Katie Davis and David Martin (Nicky), Barrett Crowder (Princeton), Brandon Mayes (Rod), Zafyre Sexton (Gary Coleman), Ben Fierke (Brian), Rosvic Saison (Christmas Eve), Taylor Priday (Lucy the Slut) and Rosa Campos (Kate Monster). Photo by Joelma Sambdman.

Kate Monster and Princeton, handled by actors Rosa Campos and Barrett Crowder. Photo by Joelma Sambdman.

Lila Weaver, President of Theatre Wings, a nonprofit volunteer community organization, said they contracted 2 Dog, a local Gainesville restaurant, to cater and manage the sales of food and alcohol at select shows of “Avenue Q.”

“We are able to [sell alcohol] because we are a private institution. It is not a Brenau University initiative,” Weaver said. “Theatre Wings is bringing in a licensed bartender.”

In addition to providing hospitality services for various performances, Theatre Wings helps students in pursuing their artistic careers and allocates financial donations that benefit GTA.

According to Jim Hammond, GTA’s artistic and managing director, selling alcohol at select shows is an effort to serve the members of the community better.

“Every theater I go to offers beer and wine,” Hammond said. “This is our pilot. We will see how it goes.”

From left to right: Alex Foster (Assistant Costume Designer), Katie Davis, Rosa Campos, Elizabeth Rossoman (Costume Designer), Grant Key (Assistant Stage Manager). Photo by Joelma Sambdman.

In addition to beer and wine, Theatre Wings will sell promotional tumblers. Although the funds from the tumblers will help support GTA, the Alliance will not see proceeds from the sale of alcohol.

“Profit from alcohol sales will only cover [food and beverage] expenses,” Weaver said, “and it will not benefit any of the organizations involved.”

The sale of alcoholic beverages at a campus facility adds to the adult nature of “Avenue Q,” which features mature language and content. The audience should also expect full-puppet nudity and, according to Hammond, “mad, crazy, puppet sex.”

GTA patrons can buy beer and wine at the 7:30 p.m. show at opening night on Feb. 13 and at the 7:30 p.m. weekend shows on Feb. 16, 17, 23 and 24. Catering services will start at 6 p.m.

Brenau University’s Hosch Theatre is located in the John S. Burd Center at 429 Academy St. in Gainesville.

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