March 1, 2024 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

Leap Day Brings Once-in-Four-Year Deals at Popular Restaurants All Day Long

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’, and More Roll Out Special Offers to Mark the Occasion Leap Day, that rare additional day occurring...

Sweet Lady Jane’s Social Media Tease Continues As Locations Sport Hiring Notices

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Mysterious Posts Leave Fans Eager for the Return, But Questions Linger By Dolores Quintana After resurfacing on social media, the...

Upcoming Ice Cream Shop on Montana Ave. Will Serve Multitude of Vegan Flavors

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

The Company Has Come a Long Way Since Its Humble Beginnings as a New York City Food Truck By Zach...

(Video) Pro-Palestine Protest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Protesters were there to protest the arrival of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi Counter-protesters drove by in a car. @smmirrornews Pro-Palestine...

(Video) Restaurants Replace Glass Front Doors After Late Night Robbery Spree in Del Ray

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Seven restaurants and small businesses in Del Rey and Venice, including Nick the Greek and Dudley Market, were robbed. Council...

SMMUSD Appoints New Asst. Superintendent of Education Services

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Dr. Williamson Will Assume Her Role on March 8, Bringing 17 Years of Education Experience In a special board meeting...

Hollywood Royalty to Shine at 96th Oscars: First Wave of Star-Studded Presenter Lineup Unveiled

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Incredible Lineup of Actors and Previous Oscar Winners Announced Executive producer and showrunner Raj Kapoor, along with executive producers Molly...

Vote Smart, Vote Early: Streamlining Your 2024 Presidential Primary Experience in L.A. County

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Skip the Lines and Save Time – Your Guide to Early Voting Options  In preparation for the upcoming 2024 Presidential...

Iconic Venice Beach Sculpture and Landmark to be Removed, Returned to Artist’s Property

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Since the Money, Effort or Desire to Purchase the Piece Appears to Not Be There, the Artist Wants It Back...

(Video) Heartfelt candlelight vigils in Westchester and West Hollywood for Nex Benedict

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

The non-binary 16 year old student with Choctaw ancestry died in Owasso, Oklahoma after being beaten by three older high...

Sweet Lady Jane Sparks Hope of Return – Popular Bakery Hints at Reopening Across LA

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

After Abrupt Closures, Beloved Bakery Hints at a Comeback, Leaving Fans Intrigued  Sweet Lady Jane, a Los Angeles cake bakery...

Waymo’s LA Expansion Hits Roadblock: CPUC Temporarily Halts Self-Driving Company’s Plans

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

California Public Utilities Commission suspends Waymo’s service expansion for 120 days. California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has put a temporary...

Real Estate Giant Funds LAPD Union Fund to Sway L.A. City Council Election in March

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Santa Monica Company Responsible for LA’s Largest Mass Eviction Gives $400,000 Santa Monica-based Real estate investment trust company Douglas Emmett...

Santa Monica College Unveils 2024 Spring Jazz Series Lineup

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Tickets for each concert are priced at $10 and can be purchased in advance The Santa Monica College Music Department...

Downtown Wellness Center Bridges Gap Between Psychedelics and Meditation

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

The Center Has Partnered With Local Agencies and Gave Free Sessions to Around 500 Veterans in Two Years By Zach...