Mercury Theater Chicago's AVENUE Q Will Close December 30

A mainstay of the Belmont Theater District, Mercury Theater Chicago's critically acclaimed production of AVENUE Q moves into its final weeks with a closing date of December 30. With incredible runs on the Mercury stage in 2014 and 2018, this lovingly revived Broadway musical comedy appealed to the heart and humor of more than 40,000 audience members, earning widespread critical acclaim with coverage from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" and WGN Radio, and awards from Broadway World and the Joseph Jefferson awards, including 12 Broadway World Award nominations for the 2018 production. By its closing date, AVENUE Q will have played 355 performances over 12 months, placing it as one of the longest-running homegrown musicals in Chicago history.

Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune noted "AVENUE Q is a long-running hit all over again in Chicago. 'Warning, puppet sex' once again appears on the Mercury's marquee." WTTW's Chicago Tonight highly recommended the show, remarking "it's not only clever and refreshingly frank but wholly charming" and Hedy Weiss of WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" declaring "the show is not only clever and refreshingly frank about many subjects, but it is wholly charming in its hiply bittersweet way." Winner of the Tony "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book in 2004, AVENUE Q is part flesh, part felt, and packed with heart.

The current cast of AVENUE Q includes Audrey Billings (Christmas Eve), Molly C. Jones (Kate Monster), Andrew Lund (Princeton), Matthew Miles (Brian), Jason Richards (Trekkie Monster, Ricky), David S. Robbins (Gary Coleman), Christian Siebert (Rod), Dan Smeriglio (Nicky, Bad Idea Bear) and Stephanie Wohar (Lucy, Bad Idea Bear). Current understudies for the cast of AVENUE Q include Shana Dagny, Ryan Hamman, Natalie Kreft, Steve Peebles, Maxton Smith and Sam Woods.

A racy cross between South Park and Sesame Street, AVENUE Q is a modern musical focusing on a group of unique 20-somethings making their way in the big city, seeking their purpose in life. Although AVENUE Q addresses humorous adult issues, it is similar to a beloved children's show: a place where puppets are friends, monsters are good and life lessons are learned. Mercury Theater Chicago's 2014 production of AVENUE Q won a total of five Broadway World Awards including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Direction and was nominated for four Joseph Jefferson Awards including "Production - Musical - Midsize." In 2014, Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune described the show as "delightfully sweet and vulnerable...could not be more fun or charming to watch!" and the Chicago Sun-Times highly recommended the show, saying it was "better than the Broadway original!" The production opened Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in March 2003, where it won the 2003 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Musical, as well as a nomination for the 2003 Outer Critics Circle Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical award. It played on Broadway at the Golden Theatre from 2003 through 2009 and is currently playing Off-Broadway once again at New World Stages.

AVENUE Q features Music and Lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez (co-creator of THE BOOK OF MORMON and recent Academy Award winner for FROZEN) and a Book by Jeff Whitty. The production is led by Jeff Award winners L. Walter Stearns (director), Eugene Dizon (musical director), and Kevin Bellie (choreography) and features custom made puppets by Russ Walko. The creative team includes Alan Donahue (scenic design), Rachel Boylan (costume design), Dustin L. Derry (lighting design) and Max Maxin IV (video design). Stage management is by Kristi J. Martens with assistant stage manager Kaitlin Moser. Rick Lyon, master puppeteer and original Broadway AVENUE Q cast member, oversaw puppetry training at the beginning of the 2018 production, followed by Kevin Noonchester, who led puppet camp in November 2018.

AVENUE Q must close December 30. The performance schedule is Wednesdays at 8pm, Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 5pm and 8:30pm and Sundays at 3pm and 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets range from $35-$65, and are available online, over the phone at 773.325.1700, or in person at the box office at 3745 N. Southport Avenue. Audience members are also invited to upgrade their experience at AVENUE Q with an exclusive Post-Show Backstage Experience including a backstage tour, puppetry demonstration and AVENUE Q souvenir.

AVENUE Q may not be appropriate for young children because it addresses issues like sex, drinking, and surfing the web for porn. Parents should use their discretion based on the maturity level of their children.

The beautifully renovated Mercury Theater Chicago is located in the heart of the Southport Corridor at 3745 North Southport Avenue, within a sophisticated neighborhood of restaurants and boutiques just steps from Wrigley Field. A delightful destination, Mercury Theater Chicago is a live-theater seating 280 people, adjoining Venus Cabaret Theater (seating 80). Guests are taken care of from the moment they arrive with valet service and luxe farm-to-table dining at its adjoining restaurant, Grassroots.

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