Updated: Jan 26
It’s been years in the planning and many more months than expected in the rehearsal sheds, but The Attic Theatrical (TAT) production of Avenue Q has finally made it onstage ready for audiences.
As the principal photographer, I’ve been following the ups and downs of behind the scenes during a global pandemic since October 2021. Shooting the dress rehearsal on 18 January 2022 , I was incredibly impressed.
Let’s start with the live band. Chris ‘Papa’ Hochkins has brought together the who’s-who of Central Coast musicians. The result is a tight, slick six-piece band that rocks the Avenue score supporting some stellar vocals. After being away from music venues for so long, the show is worth it just to hear the band and live music .
Avenue Q features puppets, but this is not a show for children.
Isaac Ledingham as Princeton, the human who is going to do big things with his newly minted degree, and Danielle Hochkins as Kate Monster, the monster with a dream, set up the show’s main themes exploring race, relationships and contentious themes with a bit of nudity for good measure. The bond Isaac and Danielle have with their puppet-selves and each other supported by fabulous tunes and drama lift this show above other productions of Avenue Q I have seen.
This is superbly supported by the touching story of Rod, the closeted gay performed by Ryan Knowles, and his best friend, Nick, performed by Morgan Fardy as shown below. Ryan's solo is heart-breaking and the band supports his rendition Fantasies Come True beautifully.
Kaitlin Divall is a standout as Lucy T Slut, pictured below and main picture. She carries the role with the confidence and sassiness it needs with just a touch of vulnerability which helps you feel for her when things don’t quite go to plan.
That being said, everyone brings a unique spark to their role. I have favourites all through the show, and I wonder how they will compare to yours.
This show is packed with an exceptional depth of talent. Director, Amanda Daniels, has cast people from Morriset to Umina. For me, there are many familiar faces from Gosford Musical Society and Wyong Musical Theatre Company but many new and exciting people to watch who have added extra spark from Newcastle musical societies.
Amanda’s vision is brought to life by a very hard-working and talented team. For such a small budget, the set, lighting and sound, costumes, props and vocal coaching and all the other backstage bits and pieces is just outstanding. Stage Manager, Natalie Logan and ASM Katie Kiernan run a very tight ship. This ensured there were none of the usually stressful behaviours I have seen in other dress-rehearsals over my lifetime during the fractious production week.
In a government supported arts environment, everyone associated with this production would have ongoing and fulltime work in theatres or creative pursuits. That is how much talent abounds on this production.
However, it is up to us to support this local and independent production by coming along to the very lovely cabaret theatre at the Art House, Wyong. It is very Covid safe so slip on your mask and get out there while you can.
I haven't given everything away here, but I trust it has inspired you to get in the car and use up those Discover vouchers supporting our arts community.
0412 241 773
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VENUE The Art House Studio TIMES Fri 21 Jan 2022 - 7:30PM Sat 22 Jan 2022 - 2PM Sat 22 Jan 2022 - 7:30PM Sun 23 Jan 2022 - 2PM Tue 25 Jan 2022 - 7:30PM Thu 27 Jan 2022 - 7:30PM Fri 28 Jan 2022 - 7:30PM
IMPORTANT INFORMATION WARNING - THIS SHOW IS NOT FOR CHILDREN! It contains strong language, adult content including explicit sexual actions, nudity and drug references. Suitable for ages 15+.
Adult: $45.00 Art House Member: $40.00 Concession: $38.00 Student: $38.00 Group 10+: $38.00