Avenue Q offers up scandal, satire, and gratuitous puppet sex at the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse

MNM Theatre Company exposes new scandal for Trump

Robert Fritz, Kate Ryan, Courtney Poston, Wesley Slade, Nicole Piro

On Friday, May 25, in front of a nearly sell-out crowd at the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse, the critically acclaimed Avenue Q started their two-week South Florida run.

This Broadway quality production is being put on by MNM Theatre Company, which was recently reorganized into a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. They pride themselves on employing Florida based actors, as well as everyone else involved in the play. Luckily, we have a treasure trove of great people for them to pick from, including many thespians you might have seen in not only local plays, but on Broadway as well as the big and small screen.

It tells the story of a Princeton, a young man trying to find his purpose in life in the big city. Luckily, he finds a place on Avenue Q filled with colorful characters who help him on his quest, and ultimately realizes that life isn’t as cut and dry as you might think it should be.

The interaction between monsters, everyday puppets, and normal humans makes the show seem more believable as they tackle the issues of racism, poverty, and yes, even politics during the 2 hour show. Keep your ears open for references to the Trump administration throughout the show, but especially during the introduction of Lucy the Slut!

Although Avenue Q is a puppet based play, it is definitely not for children. There were a couple youngsters in the audience for opening night, and, if it were me, I’d be worried that they’d be scarred for life, especially after the extended sex scene! Even though the show addresses humorous adult issues, it is similar to a beloved children’s show; a place where puppets are friends, monsters are good and life lessons are learned.

All in all, it is probably our favorite play yet. The fact that they incorporate the struggles of our modern age in a way that makes you laugh demonstrates not only the strength of the material, but the quality of the actors themselves.

The cast of Avenue Q includes Nayomi Braaf*J.R. Coley*Robert FritzPaul Louis,Jayne NgRick PeñaNicole PiroCourtney PostonMichael Scott Ross*‡Kate Ryan, and Wesley Slade‡.

‡ Member of Actors’ Equity Association

* Has appeared in previous MNM shows

Paul Louis

Kate Ryan, who portrays Kate Monster, put on a masterful performance, and her expressions and love for the character showed through. Wesley Slade, who brought Princeton to life, was also very good, as was the rest of the emsemble cast. Paul Louis, who plays Trekkie Monster, definitely stole the show. You can tell he is a master puppeteer, and truly loves his work!

That isn’t to say that opening night was without flaw. You can tell that some of the actors are more experienced puppeteers than others. Hopefully they will get better throughout the run.

MNM’s production of Avenue Q will have performances at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 1:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $55 each and are available for purchase online through the Kravis Center’s official website at kravis.orgby phone at 561.832.7469; or at the Kravis Center box office, 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach.