AVENUE Q, the Tony Award-winning musical that has delighted and surprised theatergoers since it first arrived on Broadway in 2003, has another surprise in store when the musical's producers announced from the stage at the conclusion of the show's final Broadway performance at the John Golden Theatre (252 W. 45 St.) on September 13, 2009 that AVENUE Q will, in fact, move to a new address in the Times Square neighborhood and begin performances on October 9 at New World Stages (340 W. 50 St.).
The musical's Broadway producers Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman and Jeffrey Seller announced that AVENUE Q - the hilarious and enormously popular musical about a group of 20-something people and puppets who live as neighbors in an outerborough of NYC -- will be presented at New World Stages as it was on Broadway, with director Jason Moore, creators Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty, as well as the show's designers, choreographer, musical team and, of course, its cast of colorful, furry, outrageous puppets participating in the transfer. Casting for the Off-Broadway engagement of AVENUE Q is TBA. The musical will be produced at New World Stages by Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, The Vineyard Theatre and The New Group.
Research indicates that this transfer is unprecedented, marking the first time that a Broadway musical has, indeed, moved to an Off-Broadway theatre.
About the decision to keep AVENUE Q running in New York, Mr. McCollum says, "AVENUE Q is about all of us, so why should it close? People arrive in New York every day hoping to make their dreams come true, so as long as they're here, we're here! It's just one of the funniest, wittiest and wisest musicals ever written and the more you see it, the more you love it."
AVENUE Q beloved puppet character Rod says, "When I got the news that AVENUE Q was re-opening five blocks away, I couldn't have been more delighted. After all, young people are still searching for meaning in their life -- even more than when we opened six years ago! So I'm glad we're here to help them and people of all ages navigate the turbulent waters of today's world. My only regret is that my next job was going to be dresser for Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, but hey, I'll take stardom any time, baby!"
AVENUE Q producer Robyn Goodman notes in an aside that she is also aware that gay puppet Rod is also tickled that he will now be geographically closer, and otherwise, to the male actors in the musical ALTAR BOYZ, running at an adjacent theater at New World Stages.
AVENUE Q's man-hungry puppet Lucy says of the transfer, "I'm a working girl at heart. So the idea of moving Off-Broadway totally turns me on -- plus, that means I can call Hooters and tell 'em to shove that job! And to be at New World Stages is a dream come true. I always wanted to get closer to my audience. Frankly, honey, whether you're serving 500 people a night or 800, after the first hundred they all sorta blur together."
Winner of three 2004 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score (Messrs. Lopez and Marx) and Best Book of a Musical (Mr. Whitty), AVENUE Q became an overnight sensation on Broadway in July 2003, having transferred to the John Golden Theatre from a wildly successful, extended and sold-out engagement Off-Broadway at The Vineyard Theatre in Union Square.
During its six-plus years on Broadway, AVENUE Q played a total of 2,534 performances, surpassing such musicals as THE PRODUCERS, OKLAHOMA! and ANNIE to become, at present, the 20th longest-running show in Broadway history.
Some 2 million people have seen AVENUE Q on Broadway, with countless others having enjoyed the musical in London's West End and on the show's enormously successful U.S. National Tour. On Broadway, the musical attracted audiences including a former President (Bill Clinton), a U.S. Senator (Hillary Clinton), celebrities including Tom Hanks, Diana Ross, Zac Efron, Kelly Clarkson, Carol Burnett, Charlton Heston, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Hillary Swank, Jennifer Aniston, Sean Penn and Judge Judy, all of whom have enjoyed the wit and wisdom of the musical with such popular songs as "It Sucks to be Me," "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," "The Internet is for Porn" and "Schaudenfreude."
A musical about 20-somethings who move to the city with big dreams and tiny bank accounts, AVENUE Q has music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty, and is directed by Jason Moore. Based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, with puppets conceived and designed by Rick Lyon, AVENUE Q has musical supervision by Stephen Oremus, choreography by Ken Roberson, scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Mirena Rada, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Acme Sound Partners. General management is by Ken Davenport, Davenport Theatrical Enterprises.