Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Avenue Q To Ride Off Broadway Via September Exit

Avenue Q To Ride Off Broadway Via September Exit

While the 2004 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Avenue Q still resides on Broadway, it's simply for now. The little adult puppet musical will close on September 13 after playing 2,534 performances.

Avenue Q began as a "million dollar idea" initially conceptualized for television by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez. But as it progressed, it took shape as a downtown musical with Jeff Whitty providing its book in time for its original mounting at New York's Vineyard Theatre. From there, it transferred to midtown to Broadway's John Golden Theatre, where it opened July 10, 2003.

When I first caught the fledgling little Avenue Q during the 2003-04 Theatrical Season with its original cast -- long before it was awarded the 2004 Tony for Best Musical -- I enjoyed its devious humor that tracked an ingenious parallel universe with television's "Sesame Street." I vividly recall a fun time was had by all.

I was less enamored with the current touring production when I caught it several years later, perhaps in part because of its unprecedented, all-out campaign effort to win the Tony back in 2003, coupled with the producers subsequent sell-out to Steve Wynn and Vegas instead of touring. But I give the show and its creators enormous credit for having lasted so long and inspiring new audiences to enjoy live theatre.

Those die-hard Avenue Q fans can take heart. The show still continues to tour nationally, with stops scheduled through at least one year forward. Then there's the successful West End production that opened to mixed reviews three years ago last Sunday.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 01 July, 2009, Blogger crossoverman said...

Avenue Q opened in Melbourne in early June for a limited season and will tour Australia and New Zealand over the next 12 months. I think the short stops, long tour concept is a good one for this show in Australia because it's not likely to attract the typical musical lover - but it will attract enough fresh blood to fill a two month season in each city along the way.

The production is scaled-back from the Broadway version, but not to the detriment of the show. I think the initial investment here was $2 million - and it's done well in Melbourne, extending its run by a couple of weeks before heading to Sydney.

At 01 July, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Melbourne certainly does seem to get everything, even if not always a mounting of the original (think August: Osage County). It really is world class city for culture, isn't it?!

At 01 July, 2009, Blogger crossoverman said...

It is looking that way - and I think these last couple of years have been the best for major Broadway musicals in this city. Jersey Boys has just opened. Chicago is being revived in August. Mama Mia is coming back. Mary Poppins is on the horizon.

And for non-musicals, God of Carnage opens here in August at the Melbourne Theatre Company. How wonderful to see two Tony Award winners for Best Play in the same year!

At 03 July, 2009, Blogger Joseph Gomez said...

I had a pretty decent sized comment for this. Then my computer went kapoot. So sad.


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