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Only For Now? You Wish! AVENUE Q to Mark 13th Anniversary

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 13th anniversary on Sunday, July 31, 2013 at New World Stages (340 W. 50 St.) in New York City.

AVENUE Q opened on Broadway 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 2,556 performances (including 22 previews) prior to its move in October 2009 to New World Stages. Since then, Avenue Q will have played 2,828 performance at New World Stages when its 13th Anniversary arrives.

With unforgettable, uproarious and catchy songs such as THE INTERNET IS FOR PORN, EVERYONE'S A LITTLE BIT RACIST and IF YOU WERE GAY, the show's finale, ONLY FOR NOW, has been a perpetual barometer of the times in which we live: the song's lyric currently proclaims that "Donald Trump is only for now."

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.

Avenue Q celebrated its 10-year Anniversary with NYC Commissioner Katherine Oliver, who began the evening on stage 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.

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 13 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 byMirena 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 Ben Durocher, Elizabeth Ann Berg, GRACE CHOI, Jason Jacoby, Nicholas Kohn, Danielle K. Thomas, Kerri Brackin, Jed Resnick, Katie Boren, Michael Liscio, Jr. and Imari Hardon.

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 TheNew 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.

For more information visit www.avenueq.com.

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg


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