Original Avenue Q Star to Exit Broadway Show, Oct. 29

News   Original Avenue Q Star to Exit Broadway Show, Oct. 29
Avenue Q's original cast member and puppet creator Rick Lyon will exit his turn as Nicky, Trekkie Monster and others on Broadway, Oct. 29.

The star — who returned to the Tony Award-winning musical's Broadway run at the John Golden Theatre following his stint in the Las Vegas run — told Playbill.com of his forthcoming departure. No replacement was ascertained at press time.

"It's been an honor to perform for theatregoers in NY," Lyon told Playbill.com, "and the acceptance I've received from the Broadway community has meant a great deal to me."

The puppeteer met composer-lyricists Marx and Lopez when the duo used him for a BMI workshop demo of one of their songs for their spec musical Kermit, Prince of Denmark." That meeting occurred in 1999 and though that show did not come to fruition, the collaboration took them on the path to Broadway with another puppet venture.

Lyon has performed in all stateside incarnations of the show including its Off Broadway run at the Vineyard Theatre — where he sustained an injury during a performance and went on to do some shows, in voice alone, seated offstage while he recovered.

"The puppets have changed so much," Lyon previously stated. "I see early tapes of readings we did and I shudder! I'm so proud of the way they look now, and it's so incredible to go out on stage every night and perform and be surrounded with these things I've created." The show currently uses 42 puppets manipulated by six puppeteers. (Read Playbill.com's interview with Lyon about the inner workings of the show in the Brief Encounter section.) Lyon leaves the current Broadway company starring co-hort Jennifer Barnhart — the only remaining original member — with Mary Faber, Howie Michael Smith, Evan Harrington, Ann Sanders and Haneefah Wood.

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