Avenue Q to Play London's New Noël Coward Theatre

News   Avenue Q to Play London's New Noël Coward Theatre
Avenue Q , the Tony-winning Broadway musical featuring a mix of humans and puppets, will be the first show to be staged in impresario Cameron Mackintosh’s revamped Noël Coward Theatre, currently the Albery.

Original Broadway star John Tartaglia in Avenue Q.
Original Broadway star John Tartaglia in Avenue Q. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Avenue Q previews for nearly a month, starting June 1, with an official opening night on June 28.

With puppet characters such as Trekkie Monster and Lucy the Slut, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx’s (music and lyrics) debut musical has been described as "Sesame Street" meets "South Park."

Avenue Q started life in 2002 with an Off-Broadway run at the 200-seat Vineyard Theatre, where it was extended four times. It then opened at the Golden Theatre on Broadway in July 2003 to critical acclaim. The show went on to win three 2004 Tonys: Best Musical, Best Original Score of a Musical and Best Book of a Musical.

After New York, London will be the third production in the world, the other being Las Vegas where, it was recently announced, the show will end its run on May 28, to make way for Monty Python’s Spamalot.

In Avenue Q, Jeff Whitty’s book follows the story of bright-eyed college student Princeton, who can only afford to live in the down-market New York street of the show’s title. With a variety of interesting neighbors, Princeton goes on a journey of self-discovery. This new production has been arranged in collaboration with The Theatre Royal, Stratford East, where the show was originally due to receive its London premier.

The Theatre Royal has helped source a mix of young newcomers and seasoned West End performers for the production.

Speaking to the Evening Standard today, Mackintosh said that the show would make its reputation in London through word-of-mouth, as it had in New York.

“I’m not going to spend much on ads,” said the impresario. “The only marketing we are going to do is get as many people in to see it at the lowest price that is humanly possible in the first few weeks and hope they tell their friends that they’d be fools to miss it.”

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