The Vineyard Theatre and The New Group co-produced the musical which still runs Off-Broadway through May 11. The Broadway run, budgeted at $3 million, will be under the auspices of Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum and Robyn Goodman.
The popular puppet-plus-people production opened March 19 at the Vineyard Theatre to positive critical and audience response. Performances began Feb. 20 for the hot ticket show which first extended its run to April 27 then again to May 4.
Avenue Q, by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty, is set on the fictitious New York City street where characters like Rod, Brian, Kate Monster, Christmas Eve and others attempt to find their way in the real world. The comic show sends up popular children's television shows such as "Sesame Street" and "The Electric Company," serves up a bounty of pop culture references, includes "full puppet nudity, not suitable for children" and features an actress playing the former "Diff'rent Strokes" star Gary Coleman (he ends up being a superintendent of buildings on Avenue Q).
Creators Lopez and Marx, 2000 Ed Kleban Award winners, provide the original concept as well as music and lyrics for the musical while Whitty (The Plank Project) handles the book. The Crumple Zone director Jason Moore directs the Off-Broadway run which features the creations of puppeteer Rick Lyon (whose work has been seen in "Men in Black" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.")
The musical employs three actors who portray human characters and four puppeteers who multi-task playing over a dozen puppet characters — all the while singing and dancing in full view of the audience. The Avenue Q cast includes Ann Harada (as Christmas Eve), Jen Barnhart (Mrs. T, Bad Idea Bear #2 and others), Natalie Venetia Belcon (as Gary Coleman), Jordan Gelber (as Brian), Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Kate Monster, Lucy and others), John Tartaglia (Princeton and Rod) and Lyon (Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Bad Idea Bear #1 and others). Ken Roberson carves out choreography. Stephen Oremus serves as music supervisor. The design team features Anna Louizos (sets), Mirena Rada (costumes), Frances Aronson (lights) and Brett Jarvis (sound).
The production features the songs "Avenue Q Theme," "Opening," "If You Were Gay," "Purpose," "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist," "The Internet Is For Porn," "A Mix Tape," "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today," "Special," "You Can Be As Loud As The Hell You Want (When You're Making Love)," "Fantasies Come True," "My Girlfriend, Who Lives In Canada," "There's A Fine, Fine Line," "There Is Life Outside Your Apartment," "The More You Ruv Someone," "Schadenfreude," "I Wish I Could Go Back To College," "The Money Song" And "For Now." A cast album is expected but no label or release date have been announced.
Broadway performances will play at 8 PM Monday-Saturday and at 2 PM Wednesday and Saturday. For tickets to Avenue Q, call (212) 239-6200.