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Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative

AngusN
Broadway Star
joined:3/23/05
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/22/13 at 06:42am
I was just wondering if anyone has seen Avenue Q regionally and they have used an alternative washed up child star, other than Gary Coleman?
darquegk Profile Photo
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/22/13 at 07:07am
Michael Jackson was used in Europe for a while, saying he had faked his death to escape the press.
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/22/13 at 08:25pm
I thoroughly enjoyed AVENUE Q, but the Gary Coleman bit is the weakest part of the show. It just reeks of something that was hysterical when previewed at the Lehman Engel Workshop (I guess it's called the BMI Workshop nowadays), but really should have been discarded as the show matured.
Jane2 Profile Photo
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/22/13 at 09:08pm
Audiences still laugh at his entrance.
<-----craves juicy pizza
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/22/13 at 09:16pm
I don't think it's a weak bit, per se, since the Avenue Q version of Coleman is pretty funny.

It's just a strange bit to have made it all the way to the final product, considering it always had a ticking clock attached to it. It'll be interesting to see how people react to it in several decades.
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/22/13 at 11:15pm
After Mr. Coleman's death, I thought they stopped his entrance for awhile out of respect.
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 08:14am
Audiences still laugh at his entrance.

Yeah, but it's a cheap laugh.

Again, I like the show and think it deserves better.
Jane2 Profile Photo
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 09:33am
"After Mr. Coleman's death, I thought they stopped his entrance for awhile out of respect."

"No, they didn't. Out of respect, I think."
<-----craves juicy pizza
CJ N2N Profile Photo
CJ N2N
Featured Actor
joined:7/8/11
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 09:47am
I think it could work with any child star who had a downward spiral (and don't they all seem to nowadays?) or fell into obscurity, etc., etc.

I always saw the character as sort of a symbol for "loss of innocence" for lack of a better term. He was a person who had an ideal life as a child, but when he grew up he lost it all. It shows that you can't be a kid forever and you're going to have to deal with legitimate problems. It's like waking up after adolescence and realizing that parents can be wrong, and can cheat and lie. And even if you were loved and adored as a child, that doesn't translate into real life. I think it shows that adult hood isn't as clear cut as Sesame Street made childhood look. If you think about it, every episode of Sesame Street had a definable theme and moral that it taught. Avenue Q? Its theme is sort of fuzzy (no pun intended).

Or maybe it's just supposed to be funny. I don't know.

I'm probably reading way too much into it. That's the problem with being a person who wants to study Lit in college...
Littleshopofcarrie Profile Photo
Littleshopofcarrie
Broadway Star
joined:12/9/12
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 12:02pm
I would love to see one with Amanda Bynes!!
CapnHook Profile Photo
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 12:23pm
"OMG! It's Lindsay Lohan!"

"Yeah it is, bitches!

I'm Lindsay Lohan, first known from THE PARENT TRAP.
I made a lot of money, grew up and then I snapped!
So I steal,
drink, do drugs,
and I don't give a crap!
And now I'm here, the Superintendant, of Avenue Q.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 12:35pm
They could make it Black Cousin Oliver.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
showchoirguy Profile Photo
showchoirguy
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/10
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 01:14pm
Bless you, Capn. Bless you.
ChairinMain Profile Photo
ChairinMain
Featured Actor
joined:4/2/07
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 05:27pm
I remember when the London production open they changed the show so the character "Gary" was no longer explicitly Gary Coleman. Just "Gary, a former child star" who was POSSIBLY Gary Coleman. IIRC, They cast the character with a man, cut the different strokes references, and changed some lyrics around. After a few weeks they restored the character because the fear of English people being unfamiliar with Gary Coleman proved unfounded.
FireFingers Profile Photo
FireFingers
Stand-by
joined:11/16/10
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 06:52pm
London entrance was more of less: "Yes I am. I was the cutest little black kid on TV. Made a million dollars that my parents stole from me." That was kept, but Gary Coleman was referenced by name elsewhere.
FireFingers Profile Photo
FireFingers
Stand-by
joined:11/16/10
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 06:52pm
London entrance was more of less: "Yes I am. I was the cutest little black kid on TV. Made a million dollars that my parents stole from me." That was kept, but Gary Coleman was referenced by name elsewhere.
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/23/13 at 08:21pm
CJ, there's nothing wrong with studying literature and I think your reading of the character is very consistent with the rest of the show. It's always screamed "cheap gimmick" to me, but that doesn't mean I disagree with the "message".
CJ N2N Profile Photo
CJ N2N
Featured Actor
joined:7/8/11
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/24/13 at 10:04am
Oh! Well I can definitely see where you would think that. I would be lying if I said I didn't think some of the show was cheap gimmicks.

Needless fun fact about my life: I'm auditioning for a production of Avenue Q tonight at my summer theater.

GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/24/13 at 08:25pm
Break a leg, CJ, and let us know how it goes. I trust I didn't say anything to discourage you--you'll have a great time if you are cast, I'm sure.

(FWIW, I've been through the Lehman Engel Workshop training in LA and in AVENUE Q, there are several elements that stand out as things the workshop members would find hilarious: not just Gary Coleman, but the quoting from WEST SIDE STORY and the Act II duet that is deliberately reminiscent of "A Boy Like That".)

But I had a great time at the show in San Diego and would go again in a heartbeat.
darquegk Profile Photo
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/24/13 at 08:46pm
True about the Gary Coleman-Lehmen Engel thing. In my first produced musical, a Pittsburgh native experiencing paranoid fantasies about his cancer diagnosis has recurring conversations with his lifelong imaginary friend/persecutor, which was written in early drafts as appearing in the form of Pittsburgh actor and sci-fi villain extraordinare Zachary Quinto.

The Quinto reference lasted exactly one reading before being rewritten as a generic imaginary friend.
chewy5000 Profile Photo
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/24/13 at 09:34pm
But if you remove Gary, you also lose his great line in the Money Song as well, which would be a shame.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/24/13 at 10:16pm
I wouldn't remove him. "Schadenfreude" is one of my favorite songs in the score.

I'd just write a real character for him (or her), rather than a fake one.

But that's just me.

(Thanks for the confirmation, darquegk. The Lehman Engel/BMI workshops are worlds unto themselves. Valuable, in my opinion, but there is a specific group-think that is common there.

Off-topic: the LA workshop sponsored a full-length work developed in its "advanced" group. EVERY SINGLE SONG was written in a strict 32-bar AABA style. After a half-dozen or so songs, it became the most tedious thing in the world, but I knew exactly how it had come to be.)

Updated On: 6/24/13 at 10:16 PM
CJ N2N Profile Photo
CJ N2N
Featured Actor
joined:7/8/11
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/24/13 at 11:00pm
Chewy, I think those lines were cut from the show a while ago to make the characters seem less "cutthroat" if I remember the article I read correctly. It's totally ridiculous and those were some of the funniest lines in the show....

I think that happened at least, I'm not sure.

If I remember the.... "video" (*wink wink*) I watched correctly, it's replaced with underscoring as Gary Coleman and Christmas Eve walk out of their buildings, hand them money, and then are overtaken with the spirit of generosity or... something. I don't know.

EDIT: Oh wait, all his lines were replaced with "Wow I haven't felt this good since I sued my parents!" Is that what you were referring to when you say his great line?
Updated On: 6/24/13 at 11:00 PM
chewy5000 Profile Photo
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/24/13 at 11:34pm
I'm referring to the "Give us your money, you'll be glad that you did" "That's what my parents told me, when I was a kid" exchange.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
ChairinMain Profile Photo
ChairinMain
Featured Actor
joined:4/2/07
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/25/13 at 04:40am
The Money Song was shortened for the liecensed version of the show by the removal of the verses addressing Gary and Brian/Christmas Eve. This seems like a time cut to me rather than a character-based cut. The song does go on a little line. (Although I do miss the joke of Christmas Eve walking in with hundreds of dollars and only donating 16 bucks.)
yankeefan7
Broadway Legend
joined:4/14/12
Avenue Q - Gary Coleman alternative
Posted: 6/25/13 at 09:26pm
Jane2 - think you are right.

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