Avenue Q is an award-winning musical based on a book written by American playwright, Jeff Whitty. The musical is the brain-child of super talented duo Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and is directed by Arkansas born American theater director Jason Moore. Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx also worked on the lyrical and musical content of the famed musical. The musical takes its inspiration from the famous American children’s television program, Sesame Street. The characters in the musical are widely considered to be highlighting the previously popular views on children’s natural abilities and their daily lives. Sesame Street made children thinks that they were different from others and possess special powers and abilities to attain just about anything in this world. However, when they grew up to become adults, they quickly figured out that they were just like others and that it wasn’t true that they could achieve anything they want in this world.
Avenue Q was initially envisaged as a television show, but later produced as a musical to be performed at various venues around the world. The musical was first developed at the 2002 National Music Theatre Conference held at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in the city of Waterford, Connecticut. Avenue Q staged its debut production at an off Broadway venue, the Vineyard Theatre, where the musical made its first appearance in March 2003. Its first production run was done by New York based off Broadway theater company, The New Group. After a three month run at an off Broadway venue, the production moved to Broadway in July 2003. Avenue Q made its Broadway debut at the John Golden Theatre, situated in the heart of New York’s theatre district. The Broadway production of Avenue Q was directed by Jason Moore with choreography by Ken Roberson, lighting by Howell Binkley, costume designing by Mirena Rada, and set designing by Anna Louizos.
Avenue Q is considered to be one of the longest running shows in the history of Broadway. Having performed over twenty-five hundred shows on Broadway alone, Avenue Q is ranked twenty-first on the list of the greatest Broadway shows of all time. Over the years, the musical has won several prestigious awards including multiple Tony Awards, Helen Hayes Award, GLAAD Media Awards, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, Theatergoers’ Choice Award, and Variety Club Awards among others. The musical has also received several nominations including single nomination for the much-admired Grammy Awards. In 2003, the musical was awarded the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical during its debut staging at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.
The musical made its West End debut in 2006 at the Noel Coward Theatre in the middle of London’s theatre district. The West End shows were produced by British theatrical producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh. There were several changes made to the West End production to suit the taste of British audiences. Over a thousand performances were given till the first half of 2009, the same year the production moves to its new home at Gielgud Theatre in London. In the beginning of 2010, the production once again moved to a new location, Whyndham Theatre, for a run till the end of the year. Besides Broadway and West End productions, Avenue Q has several production runs in various locations around the world. Some of venues where it has been staged in the past include cities like Las Vegas, San Diego, Wisconsin, Toronto, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Auckland, and Budapest, to mention a few.
The plot of Avenue Q revolves around Princeton and his friends who struggle throughout life in order to find better jobs, dates, and the sole purpose of their lives. The main character is of Princeton, a young college graduate who has just moved to New York with big dreams but not enough money in his pocket. He decides to settle for a place in Avenue Q, as this is the only area he can afford to live in at the moment. Nevertheless, he finds the residents really warm and friendly, and with the passing of time he forges strong relationships with some of his neighbors. Other notable characters in the musical are of Brian (the jobless comedian), Nicky (the freeloader), Rod (an investment banker), and Kate (a kindergarten teaching assistant). The musical also features the character of Gary Coleman as the buildings sole administrator.
Avenue Q ended its Broadway run in September 2009, and has since then moved onto an off Broadway location at New World Stages complex where the current production is being run. The musical is considered a treat for theater lovers of all ages and is well-known for entertaining its viewers through its witty lines and fun songs. So, don’t waste the opportunity to see your favorite characters dance to one of the many cool songs featured in this musical. Grab your own Avenue Q Tickets while they are available!
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