Brought to You by the Number 3: Tony-Winning Musical Avenue Q Reaches End of Third Year on Broadway
By Ernio Hernandez
The 2004 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Avenue Q enters its fourth year on Broadway July 31.
The musical set on the fictitious New York street has already played a run in Las Vegas at the Wynn Las Vegas casino resort and currently enjoys a run at London's Noel Coward Theatre with Ann Harada reprising her original Broadway performance as Christmas Eve.
On Broadway, Avenue Q began previews July 11, 2003, and opened July 31 at the John Golden to positive critical and audience response. 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 Best Musical prize at the 2004 Tony Awards. Jason Moore (Steel Magnolias) directed with musical direction by Gary Adler (Altar Boyz).
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 and solving the mystery of the whereabouts of former "Diff'rent Strokes" child star Gary Coleman. The production bears the warning: "Full puppet nudity, not suitable for children."
The puppet and people-populated musical currently features original stars Rick Lyon and Jennifer Barnhart with Mary Faber, Howie Michael Smith, Evan Harrington, Ann Sanders and Haneefah Wood. Jonathan Root and Matt Schreiber are in the ensemble.
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).
Broadway producers Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, Vineyard Theatre and The New Group enjoyed recouping their initial Broadway investment in May 2004. The musical, which reached its 1,000th performance in Dec. 2005, has currently passed the 1,250-show mark with no signs of stopping.
Avenue Q plays on Broadway at the Golden Theatre, 252 West 45 Street. For more information on the show, visit www.avenueq.com.
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