Rick Lyon's AVENUE Q Puppets Join Permanent Collection At Smithsonian Institute
Three of the puppet stars of the Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q - Kate Monster, Nicky and Rod - have been chosen to be part of the permanent Popular Entertainment collection at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, it has been announced by Rick Lyon, who conceived and designed the long-running show's furry cast of characters.
This honor comes just weeks before AVENUE Q concludes its celebrated 16-year run in New York, with a final performance date set for May 26 at New World Stages (340 W. 50 St.) in Manhattan.
"I'm very pleased to announce that three of my original AVENUE Q puppets are now part of the Smithsonian's permanent collection," Mr. Lyon states. "When they're not on display, Kate Monster, Rod and Nicky will be sharing storage lockers with some of popular culture's most famous puppet denizens, such as Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy, Mister Moose and Bunny Rabbit for 'Captain Kangaroo,' and Jim Henson's original Kermit. They join other iconic artifacts from Broadway history, including Zero Mostel's costume from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Carol Channing's read dress from HELLO, DOLLY!, Elphaba's costume from WICKED and a pair of Lola's KINKY BOOTS."
Mr. Lyon's fellow original cast member Jennifer Barnhart joined him at an induction ceremony at the Smithsonian on Saturday, April 27.
Mr. Lyon's puppets became an overnight sensation when AVENUE Q opened on Broadway in 2003, going on to win three Tony Awards including Best Musical. Produced by Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, Vineyard Theatre and The New Group, AVENUE Q will have played a total of 6569 performances upon closing: from its first Broadway preview on July 14, 2003 to its final performance at New World Stages on May 26.
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, 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.
AVENUE Q is the fresh and funny tale of 20-somethings just out of college who move to the city with big dreams and tiny bank accounts, with puppets and people living as neighbors on a rundown street in NYC. Other puppet characters in the musical - in addition to the Smithsonian inductees - are Trekkie Monster, Princeton, Lucy and the Bad Idea Bears.
In addition to having created all of the AVENUE Q puppets - built at his studio, The Lyon Puppets - as a performer, Rick Lyon has created the roles of Nicky/Trekkie/Blue Bear in the original cast, appearing on and Off-Broadway. He has provided puppets for the New York productions of AVENUE Q, along with productions in Las Vegas, London, the first American national tour, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Switzerland, France, China and numerous other countries. www.LyonPuppets.com
At New World Stages, AVENUE Q performs Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 2:30 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased through Telecharge by calling 212-239-6200 or visiting www.telecharge.com. A limited number of rush tickets are available at the box office for each performance.
For more information about AVENUE Q, please visit: AvenueQ.com