By Byrne Harrison
After six years of songs, laughs, and puppet-on-puppet action, Broadway's Avenue Q is set to close on September 13th. At the time of its closing, it will have played 22 previews and 2,534 performances to become the 20th longest-running show in Broadway history, surpassing Annie, Oklahoma!, and The Producers.
A musical about a group of 20-somethings living in New York City with big dreams and tiny bank accounts, Avenue Q features 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.
The musical is produced on Broadway by Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, The Vineyard Theatre and The New Group.
"We will miss our furry friends on 45th street, but are very proud of their longevity," stated Avenue Q producer Robyn Goodman. Ms. Goodman adds "a disappointed Rod was hoping for an Obama bailout and swore he would turn Democrat if it happened."
Beginning on Monday, July 6th, Avenue Q will welcome back original cast member Ann Harada in the role of Christmas Eve. Also joining the Broadway cast on July 6th, direct from the national tour are Robert McClure in the roles of Princeton and Rod, Anika Larsen in the roles of Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut, and Danielle K. Thomas in the role of Gary Coleman. Harada, McClure, Larsen and Thomas will join Christian Anderson, Nicholas Kohn and Jennifer Barnhart to comprise the final Broadway cast of Avenue Q.
Avenue Q will mark its 6th anniversary on Broadway on July 31, 2009. The musical began previews on Broadway on July 11, 2003, opened on July 31, 2003, and went on to win three 2004 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book of a Musical.
In addition to its long run on Broadway, Avenue Q spawned a 2005 Las Vegas production; a 2006 West End production - which concluded its run at the Noël Coward Theatre in March 2009 only to re-open at the Gielgud Theatre in June 2009; and a U.S. national tour - which recently concluded a successful two year run in May 2009.
Avenue Q continues Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 2:00pm & 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm &7:00pm (with added performances on Wednesday, July 1 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm).