As the new Las Vegas production prepares for its launch at the Broadway Theatre in the new Wynn Las Vegas casino resort, its Broadway counterpart celebrates the second anniversary of its opening.
The 2004 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Avenue Q sends up popular children's television shows such as "Sesame Street" and "The Electric Company," while serving up a bounty of pop culture references. The production bears the warning: "Full puppet nudity, not suitable for children."
The puppet and people-populated musical currently stars Jennifer Barnhart, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Jordan Gelber, Ann Harada and Tony Award-nominated Stephanie D'Abruzzo from the original cast, joined by Barrett Foa (as Princeton and others) and Christian Anderson (as Nicky and others). The other original company members Tony-nominated John Tartaglia and puppet creator Rick Lyon were just announced to star in the Las Vegas run.
The show's creators Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx earned a Tony for their score as did bookwriter Jeff Whitty and the musical itself garnered the top prize as Best Musical at the 2004 Tony Awards. Jason Moore (Steel Magnolias) directed with musical direction by Gary Adler (Altar Boyz).
Avenue Q features puppets conceived and designed by Rick Lyon. Musical supervision is by Stephen Oremus and choreography is handled by Ken Roberson. The design team includes Anna Louizos (scenic), Mirena Rada (costume), lighting Howell Binkley (lighting) and Acme Sound Partners (sound). Performances of the Nevada run begin Aug. 27. It opens Sept. 8. From Sept. 3, the show will play on a 10-show-per-week schedule (with two dark nights). The curtain will rise twice a night, at 6:30 PM and 10 PM.
Tartaglia and Lyon will be joined in the doubled ensemble by Angela Ai, David Benoit, Steven Booth, Minglie Chen, Tonya Dixon, Rita Dolphin, Natalie Gray, Phyre Hawkins, Nicholas Kohn, Michelle Lane, Kevin Noonchester, Brynn O'Malley, Cole Porter, Jonathan Root, Kelli Sawyer, Sharon Wheatley and Haneefah Wood.
Broadway producers Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, Vineyard Theatre and The New Group — who enjoyed recouping their initial Broadway investment last year — are joined by Wynn Las Vegas for the new run at the new 1,200-seat ($40 million) Broadway Theatre built especially for the production within the resort. The Vegas production is the only other Avenue Q run outside of New York.
Tickets for Avenue Q at the Wynn, 3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South in Las Vegas, NV are available by phone or online at (702) 770-7000, toll free (888) 320 7123 or www.wynnlasvegas.com and www.ticketmaster.com/wynnlasvegas.
Avenue Q plays on Broadway at the Golden Theatre, 252 West 45 Street. For more information on the show, visit www.avenueq.com.