Broadway Features and Reviews
Broadway Says Good-bye to Q: Avenue Q Farewell
By Leora Kanner, Broadway Magazine
As Avenue Q says its goodbye to Broadway on Sunday, it seems pertinent to take a look at the unique and revolutionary production that definitely left its mark on the history of Broadway. Avenue Q changed the idea of what could be possible to bring alive on stage. Puppets over people, crude humor instead of class, Avenue Q made a name for itself and stretched the boundaries of its audiences' imagination in its celebrated six year run.
Avenue Q was conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and features a book by Jeff Whitty. The show was certainly inspired by programs like "Sesame Street" with many of the characters and plot lines brought to life by the puppet-characters reminiscent of the children's show. With characters like Rod, Kate Monster, Trekkie Monster, and Lucy, the show's parody lies largely in the adult content that is relayed by the adults and puppets in a medium that is reminiscent of the highly innocent Sesame Street.
With it's dynamic blend of nostalgia and satire, Avenue Q connected with audiences and developed a loyal following. With puppets in hand the show tackled ambitious topics and challenging themes in a way no other Broadway production could. One of the few Broadway cast recordings to carry the "Explicit Lyrics" warning, songs like "It Sucks To Be Me," "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist," and "The Internet Is For Porn," made audiences laugh, but were by no means traditional Broadway musical subjects.
Starting off-Broadway at the celebrated Vineyard Theatre, Avenue Q came to Broadway in 2003. Directed by Jason Moore, the show earned critical acclaim and multiple Tony Award nods. Most memorable, perhaps, is the fact that the show defeated mega-hit Wicked to win the Best Musical award.
For the record, Avenue Q is the 20th longest run show in Broadway history and has resulted in multiple versions of the musical in many major venues around the globe.
The New York Times called the original production " savvy, sassy and eminently likable." The New Yorker showered the show with accolades as well: "The musical puppet-and-people show "Avenue Q" (at the Golden) has so much to recommend it... that to focus on the highs in the production is rather like begging at a banquet when one's plate and cup are full to overflowing."
Avenue Q was named one of the Best on Broadway by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New York Post, Time Out New York, Newsday, Theatermania.com, and more. Of course, Avenue Q will be greatly missed after its closing on September 13th.
Wonder what the Broadway revival will look like?
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