By MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS, Rafu Entertainment Editor
Janelle Dote has become a true veteran of the stage in very few years, having made her debut right out of college.
She has traveled the country, appearing in scores of major productions in some of theater’s proudest venues, yet on Friday, she begins a run at the tiny, 99-seat, way-off-Broadway MET Theatre in Hollywood.
And she jumped at the chance.
“I’ve always wanted to do this show, to play this role. The opportunity of that opened my eyes and ears,” Dote said of her role as Christmas Eve, the sassy, immigrant ingenue in the hit musical “Avenue Q.”
“Christmas Eve is funny, because she has that accent, but at the same time, she’s so honest,” Dote explained, giving credit to her childhood experiences in Saturday Japanese school with embedding her character’s thick inflections.
A no-holds-barred skewering of modern urban life told through a twisted “Sesame Street” lens, “Avenue Q” is the raucous Tony Award winner that proudly proclaims, “It sucks to be us.”
This new production for the DOMA Theatre Company opens Nov. 9 and runs through Dec. 16 at the MET.
Having just completed her fifth tour with “Miss Saigon,” Dote said playing the Asian fresh-off-the-boat stereotype fits right in with “Avenue Q,” where nothing and no one is off-limits. The show includes songs with titles like “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist and “The Internet Is for Porn.” There’s even puppet sex, for cryin’ out loud.
“I love coming to this role with some knowledge of Japanese culture,” Dote said. “Though I am fourth-generation, my mom is a classical Japanese dancer with Fujima Kansuma Kai. Because of that, I feel I was lucky being exposed to the culture and having those ties.”
In addition to “Miss Saigon,” Dote’s credits include “Flower Drum Song,” “Damn Yankees,” and TV’s “The Young and the Restless” and “Everybody Hates Chris.”
The MET Theatre is located at 1089 N. Oxford Ave. in Hollywood. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. Sunday evening performances at 7:30 p.m. have been added for Nov. 25, Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16. Tickets are $34.99 for preferred VIP seating, $30 general, $20 for seniors and students. For mature audiences only. Call (323) 802-4990 visit or www.domatheatre.com.