SCR Continues Theatre For Young Audiences Season With Mo Willems' NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED: THE ROCK EXPERIENCE

From Mo Willems, the author of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and the Elephant and Piggie books, comes a tale that transforms naked mole-rats into something cute and fun (and funny). Willems' musical, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience is next up in the Theatre for Young Audiences series at South Coast Repertory. The show, directed by Casey Stangl with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma and a script by Willems, runs Feb. 1-17 on the Julianne Argyros Stage. Tickets are on sale now: www.scr.org.

The story follows Wilbur, a naked mole-rat. He's different from the other naked mole-rats: he wears clothes-and he likes it. His friends think it's ridiculous and needs to stop-that's just a naked mole-rat fact. And all Wilbur's friends wonder what will happen when Grand-Pah, the oldest and wisest elder rat in the colony, finds out.

"This is a simple, sweet and deeply moving story that celebrates life, tolerance and differences," said Stangl, who fell in love with the story after reading the script.

Willems is a New York Times best-selling author and illustrator. He has been awarded a Caldecott Honor for three of his children's books: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. He began his career as a writer and animator for "Sesame Street" and won six Emmy Awards. His book Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. His early reader book series, Elephant and Piggie, earned two Theodor Seuss Geisel Medals and he earned five Geisel Honors for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let's Go for a Drive!, A Big Guy Took My Ball! And Waiting is Not Easy!

The cast includes Daniel Bellusci, Melody Butiu, Marqell Edward Clayton, Nicole Cowans, Gina D'Acciaro and Joel Gelman.

The design and creative team includes Deborah Wicks La Puma, musical director; Keith Mitchell, set design; Angela Balogh Calin, costume design; Karyn D. Lawrence, lighting design; Jeff Polunas, sound design; and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting. The stage manager is Ronn Goswick and the production manager is Holly Ahlborn.

The production is generously supported by Apriem Advisors, who serve as Honorary Producers. SCR's Theatre for Young Audiences series is made possible, in part, by a major grant from The Segerstrom Foundation.

Tickets start at $23 for children ages 4-12; $28 for adults. For complete information, visit www.scr.org

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