January 27, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Avenue Q Comes To Santa Monica At Morgan-Wixson Theatre:

Avenue Q ranks 23rd on the list of longest running shows in Broadway history. The show ended its Broadway run on Sept. 13, 2009, and then reopened Off-Broadway at New World Stages in October 2009.

Santa Monica residents have the opportunity to see a local version of the Tony “Triple Crown” winner for “best musical, best score, and book” at the Morgan Wixon Theatre located at Pico and 27th Street.

The production is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q.

There, he meets Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet sexpert), Lucy (the slut), and other colorful types who help Princeton finally discover his purpose in life.

Making his directorial debut at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, director Kevin Noonchester most recently played the role of Marlin in Disney’s “Finding Nemo: The Musical” and prior to that was in the Las Vegas company of “Avenue Q” where he performed the roles of Princeton/Rod and Nicky/Trekkie.

Noonchester spoke with The Mirror to give insight into the current Santa Monica production, which opened March 9 and runs through April 6.

What do you like most about this production?

Noonchester: I feel that this production of Avenue Q maintains elements that played a huge part in the show’s initial success on Broadway. You see, while the actors are the cast, the puppets are the characters.

The magic of the show lies in the audience investing that the puppets are living, breathing characters rather than props. The producer wanted to place an emphasis on excellence in puppetry and that is how I found my way to the Morgan-Wixson family.

What makes this production at the Morgan-Wixson unique?

Noonchester: Avenue Q is a deceptively technical show. There is another layer to the performance beyond a cast of actors. To truly understand how it all works and why, you have to have done it before. The Morgan-Wixson Theatre’s commitment to excellence shows in their desire to find someone with my unique pedigree with the show to direct.

Wearing three hats as director, choreographer, and puppet director has been a unique challenge, but I believe the result is a cohesive piece of theater that represents what made the show such a success.

Why should people come and see the show?

Noonchester: Many people have heard of a show like “Wicked.” It would take a truly special show indeed to beat out “Wicked” for the Best Musical Tony Award. Come with an open mind and see what all the “fuzz” is about!

How risqué is the show?

Noonchester: Avenue Q is a show with tons of heart and is not simply “a dirty little puppet show.” It is “Children’s Television for Adults” where the lessons aren’t “ABC’s and 123’s,” but rather witty, yet biting lessons about how to get along in the world.

There is foul language, but what is there is far from being “for its own sake.”  

Adults love Avenue Q, but they seem a little, er… “fuzzy” on whether it’s appropriate for kids. It may not be appropriate for young children because it addresses issues like sex, drinking, and surfing the web for porn.

It’s hard to say what exact age is right to see Avenue Q – parents should use their discretion based on the maturity level of their children. If you bring your teenagers to Avenue Q, they’ll think you’re really cool. The ads for the show say “Warning! Full puppet nudity!” but keep in mind that these puppets don’t exist below the waist. Theater buffs out there will recall the infamous “wolf costume” with its dangling genitalia from the Broadway “Into the Woods” that has aired on PBS. To me, that single costume was way worse than anything you’ll find in Avenue Q.

What has the experience been like from transitioning from being an actor in the production in Las Vegas to directing here in Santa Monica?

Noonchester: I believe that my experience as an actor working with the original creative team helps me understand where my cast is coming from and what they need to succeed.  

However, my six years of puppet experience since my time in Avenue Q helps me to direct not just the actor performance, but the puppet performance as well.

The concept behind Avenue Q and how the puppet and actor work together to create a character is another style of puppetry all its own.

Anything else you would like to mention?

Noonchester: On March 29, there will be a special talk back after the show with Jeff Marx, the Tony Award winning lyricist of Avenue Q.

My history with the show and connections to the original creative team have afforded the audiences of the Morgan-Wixson Theatre and the community of Santa Monica this unique opportunity and it is an honor for me to have him see the results of my work with this talented cast. Tickets for the run are selling out, so get your tickets sooner rather than later.

Avenue Q

Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm

Sundays at 2 pm through April 6

2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica

Reserved seats $25-30

Box office: 310.828.7519

www.morgan-wixson.org

in News
Related Posts

LA Citycouncilmember Mike Bonin Will Not Seek Reelection

January 26, 2022

January 26, 2022

Councilmember cites chronic depression in Wednesday announcement By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin has announced that he...

Current Progress of Permanent Veteran Housing on The West LA VA Campus

January 26, 2022

January 26, 2022

VA representatives give a tour of the current progress and future plans for permanent veteran housing on the West LA...

Pandemic Propels Lifelong Educators to Open New Preschool in the Palisades!

January 25, 2022

January 25, 2022

By Susan Payne Look out, Palisades: Two educators with more than 50 years combined experience are opening a new preschool...

Santa Monica Named LEED Platinum City

January 25, 2022

January 25, 2022

First city to achieve Platinum level certification in LEED for Cities Version 4.1.  By Sam Catanzaro The U.S. Green Building...

Arnold Schwarzenegger Involved in Brentwood Crash

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

No injuries reported in Friday incident By Sam Catanzaro Arnold Schwarzenegger was involved in a multi-vehicle crash in Brentwood Friday. ...

Report Finds That Santa Monica Spends Nearly $5 Million on Homeless Outreach

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

By Dolores Quintana A new report shows that the City of Santa Monica spends nearly $5 million on homeless outreach...

Homeless Man Violently Attacks Two Residents With Ties To City Council: Santa Monica Beat – January 24th, 2022

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.*  Homeless Man Violently Attacks Two Residents With Ties To City Council*  Families...

City Breaks Ground on Water Self-Sufficiency Project

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

City Representative Sunny Wang explains what the new improvements to the Arcadia Water Treatment Plant will mean for local residents..Video...

Euro Investment Firm Buys Santa Monica Whole Foods Property for Over $50 Million

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

Whole Foods Santa Monica property sold to Deka Group By Dolores Quintana One of Europe’s largest investment firms has purchased...

Preliminary Injunction Granted to Halt Demolition Of Parking Structure 3

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

January 24 hearing set following LA Superior Court Judge ruling By Dolores Quintana The Santa Monica Bayside Owners Association’s (SMBOA)...

Westside Home Prices Rising?

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Redfin report shows 11.1 percent increase in median home prices By Dolores Quintana Are Westside home prices rising?  On the...

Film Review: “Don’t Look Up”

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

FILM REVIEWDON’T LOOK UPRated R138 MinutesReleased December 24th As with other Adam McKay movies, such as Vice and The Big...

Anti-Vaccine and Mask Rally Coming to Santa Monica This Weekend

January 20, 2022

January 20, 2022

Ocean Avenue protest will draw 300-400 people Saturday By Sam Catanzaro 300-400 people are expected to attend an anti-vaccine and...

Popular Taco Spot Coming to Santa Monica

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Tacos Tu Made opening in former Obica space By Dolores Quintana A popular taco spot is opening its first Santa...

Arrest Made in Murder of Brianna Kupfer

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Shawn Laval Smith in police custody By Sam Catanzaro Police have arrested a man suspected of the murder of Brianna...