AVENUE Q to Celebrate 10th Anniversary on July 31; NYC Awards Musical its Own Day

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AVENUE Q to Celebrate 10th Anniversary on July 31; NYC Awards Musical its Own Day

If ever a show has become part of the 'fabric' of New York and pop culture, it is the Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q -- with its colorful cast of humans and puppets. The ground-breaking musical hits a new landmark this summer when it celebrates its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 with a "Thank Q" to fans for the decade of laughter and love: starting at 10 a.m., the first 100 patrons in line can purchase $10 seats (cash only) to the special 7 p.m. 10th anniversary performance at New World Stages (340 W. 50 St.), where AVENUE Q has performed for the past four years following its triumphant six-year run on Broadway.

Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver will begin the evening on stage at 7 p.m. by presenting a Proclamation from the City of New York to the musical's cast, creators and producers declaring July 31 as AVENUE Q DAY. Other surprises are in store for the evening, which will mark the 4,143rd performance of the ground-breaking musical in New York.

AVENUE Q opened on July 31, 2003 at the John Golden Theatre; won three 2004 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book of a Musical; and gave 2556 performances (including 22 previews) prior to its move in October 2009 to New World Stages. Variety says, "Of all the musicals hatched in the post-2000 age of irony, this cheeky satire has remained the freshest and funniest." Entertainment Weekly called AVENUE Q "Jaw droppingly hilarious," and The New York Times said the show is "inspired, with a pitch-perfect ensemble." NY1 News calls it "The funniest show in town."

AVENUE Q is the hilarious and internationally-acclaimed musical about a group of 20-somethings -- people and puppets alike -- who move to New York with big dreams and tiny bank accounts. Together they live as neighbors on a street in New York as they try to discover their purpose in life. The musical's characters include Princeton, Kate Monster, Trekkie Monster, Lucy, Nicky, Rod, Gary Coleman, Brian and Christmas Eve. The score includes such popular hits as "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," "If You Were Gay," "The More You Ruv Someone" and "Schadenfreude."

AVENUE Q remains one of the most popular and relevant shows in New York.

Most recently, AVENUE Q partnered with Logo TV in a year-long series of public service announcements in 2013 promoting safe sex and HIV prevention. In July 2011, Q puppets Rod and Ricky made international headlines -- and breaking news on NY 1 News -- when they were among the first couples to be married outside City Hall with the passage of the same-sex marriage laws in New York State. AVENUE Q puppets appeared at the opening of the Gay Games in Chicago.

Republican puppet Rod was featured in a full-length Q&A with Paul Rudnick in The New York Times coverage of the 2004 Republican National Convention in NY. AVENUE Q dealt with the death in real-life of the former child star Gary Coleman (he continues to be depicted as a character in the musical). AVENUE Q famously changed one of its most talked-about lyrics -- "George Bush!" -- in the song "For Now" after George W. Bush left the Presidential office in 2008.

In the past 10 years the AVENUE Q cast and puppets have been featured 3 times on GOOD MORNING AMERICA (including a mock Presidential debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry puppets live on-air), LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY (including the debut of Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa and Michael Gelman puppets), LATE SHOW WITH Jimmy Fallon, THE VIEW, JEOPARDY!, HOLLYWOOD SQUARES, $10,000 PYRAMID, ABC 20/20, numerous appearances on the TONY AWARDS telecast as performers and presenters, QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY, MTV, VHI, in promotional "Get Caught Reading" campaigns, FOX BUSINESS NEWS, on CBS SUNDAY MORNING, NEW YORK 1 NEWS, promotional spots for WCBS-TV 2, as color commentators for CBS-TV's national coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, CNN, etc.

Celebrity visitors to AVENUE Q have included President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Judi Dench, Hilary Swank, Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Billy Crystal, Carol Burnett, Charlton Heston, Kirk Douglas, David Bowie, Ben Folds, Clive Davis, Frank Oz, Joan Rivers, Glenn Close, Gloria Steinem, George Lucas, Hal Prince, Mike Nichols, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Howard Stern, Hugh Jackman, Stephen Sondheim, Jessica Alba, Jake Gyllenhaal, Janet Jackson, Jimmy Fallon, Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Anne Meara, Jerry Stiller, Macauley Culkin, Lauren Bacall, Matt Stone, Trey Parker, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Robert Zemeckis, Bruce Vilanch, Sean Penn, Elijah Wood, Bobby McFerrin, Martin Lawrence, Megan Mullaly, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, David Hyde Pierce, Nathan Lane, Rosie O'Donnell, David Schwimmer, Angela Bassett, Jeff Daniels, Zac Efron, Christian Slater, Kathleen Turner and Uma Thurman.

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. Musical director is Rick Bertone. Animation design is by Robert Lopez, incidental music is by Gary Adler, casting is by Cindy Tolan. Christine M. Daly is Production Stage Manager

The current cast of AVENUE Q includes Darren Bluestone, Lexy Fridell, Sala Iwamatsu, Jason Jacoby, Nicholas Kohn, Veronica Kuehn, Danielle K. Thomas, Michael Liscio, Jr., Lisa Helmi Johansen, Seth Rettberg and Trista Dollison.

AVENUE Q became an overnight sensation on Broadway in July 2003 following a sold-out engagement -- extended four times -- presented Off-Broadway by Vineyard Theatre and The New Group.

AVENUE Q is produced at New World Stages, as it was on Broadway, by Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, The Vineyard Theatre and The New Group.

At the 499-seat theatre at New World Stages, AVENUE Q performs Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 2:30 pm and 8:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased through at Tele Charge 212-239-6200 or www.telecharge.com. A limited number of rush tickets for $26.50 are available at the box office for each performance.

For more information visit www.avenueq.com.

Photo by: Carol Rosegg

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