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Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts

New Village Arts Theatre is presents AVENUE Q. With music and lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez and a book by Jeff Whitty, this Tony Award-winning puppet musical will be directed by AJ Knox, with music direction by Nina Gilbert.

Avenue Q tells the story of Princeton, a recent college grad, who moves to run-down Avenue Q in New York. There, he befriends an eclectic group of humans, puppets, and monsters, and learns the life lessons that children's television never would have thought to explore. With hummable songs like "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" and "The Internet is for Porn," Avenue Q promises off-color laughs and outrageous moments, but it has also warmed audiences' hearts with its lovable and unique cast of characters. In its Broadway debut, Avenue Q scored the Tony "Triple Crown," taking home awards for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book.

NVA's own Director of Connectivity, AJ Knox, makes his mainstage directorial debut at NVA with Avenue Q. His recent NVA credits include directing Romeo & Juliet for NVA's Shakespeare in Schools program (for which he was nominated for a National Youth Arts Award for Outstanding Direction of a Play), and assistant directing God of Carnage in Season 16. Knox is joined by first-time NVA music director Nina Gilbert, who has recently worked on a number of shows throughout San Diego, in addition to her church service. Jenna Ingrassia-Knox serves as Choreographer, having recently choreographed for The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus' Divas and Movie Night performances.

Avenue Q stars a number of familiar NVA faces. Zackary Scot Wolfe (Princeton/Rod) was recently seen as Will Parker in Oklahoma!, BJ in The 1940s Radio Hour, and Tom Sawyer in Big River. He is joined by Tony Houck (Nicky/Trekkie Monster), who was last seen on stage in Sylvia, and who had featured roles in The 1940s Radio Hour and Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story, in addition to serving as music director for both. Melissa Fernandes (Lucy) returns to the NVA stage after her turns in God of Carnage and Big River in 2016, the same year she won the San Diego Theatre Critic's Circle Craig Noel Award for Actor of the Year. Other NVA veterans include Gerilyn Brault (Kate Monster), who was last seen at NVA in Buddy, and Chris Bona (Dickon in The Secret Garden) and Jasmine January (Buddy), playing the mischievous Bad Idea Bears. NVA newcomers include Steven Freitas (Brian), who was most recently seen as Jerry in SDMT's The Full Monty; Cashae Monya (Gary Coleman), recently seen as Sally Bowles in Cabaret at ion Theatre (Craig Noel Award winner); and Ciarlene Coleman (Christmas Eve), co-Artistic Director of MaArte Theatre Collective, which showcases Filipino-American theatre artists.

The creative team is comprised of familiar NVA designers: Costume Design by Elisa Benzoni (The Secret Garden, Emilie), Projections and Sound Design by Melanie Chen Cole (Men on Boats, American Hero), Scenic Design and Property Design by Christopher Scott Murillo (Men on Boats, Cloud Tectonics, The Secret Garden, Buddy), and Lighting Design by Christopher Renda (Oklahoma!, Awake & Sing!). Kymberli Skye serves as Stage Manager (Cloud Tectonics, American Hero), and Rosalee Barrientos serves as Assistant Stage Manager (Men on Boats, The Secret Garden).

The production will run from May 18 to July 1.

Photo Credit: Daren Scott

high res photos

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Steven Freitas, Gerilyn Brault, Cashae Monya* (*Actors Equity Association), Zackary Scot Wolfe, Chris Bona, Ciarlene Coleman, Tony Houck

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Cashae Monya, Zackary Scot Wolfe

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Zackary Scot Wolfe

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Chris Bona, Tony Houck, Zackary Scot Wolfe

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Jasmine January, Zackary Scot Wolfe, Chris Bona

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Gerilyn Brault, Chris Bona, Tony Houck

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Zackary Scot Wolfe, Steven Freitas, Ciarlene Coleman

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Melissa Fernandes

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Gerilyn Brault

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Cashae Monya, Chris Bona, Tony Houck

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Cashae Monya, Zackary Scot Wolfe, Tony Houck, Melissa Fernandes, Steven Freitas, Ciarlene Coleman

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Jasmine January

Photo Flash: First Look at AVENUE Q at New Village Arts
Steven Freitas, Tony Houck, Jasmine January, Zackary Scot Wolfe, Chris Bona, Cashae Monya, Gerilyn Brault, Ciarlene Coleman, Melissa Fernandes


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