Avenue Q is a musical about the lively and off-the-wall characters on a downtown New York street trying to make sense of life’s burning issues: love, work, relationships, and, above all, just how are you supposed to pay the bills with a BA in English?
The story follows Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate new to the area, as he desperately tries to follow his dreams and discover his ever-elusive purpose in life. A tiny bank balance, the distraction of a busty blonde, and a variety of weird and wonderful friends and neighbours lead Princeton on a story of self-discovery.
The show has enjoyed enormous success, both on Broadway and in London, proving to be the perfect, contemporary musical. Described as witty, rude and extremely funny, Avenue Q combines a cast of humans and puppets who tackle subjects such as dating, porn, racism, being gay and finding your purpose in life.
Avenue Q The Musical is the result of a collaboration between Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who began writing the show in 1999, originally thinking the idea would make a great TV series. Three years later it opened off-Broadway, and after extending four times at the Vineyard Theatre following rave reviews, it transferred to Broadway. In 2006, Avenue Q The Musical travelled across the Atlantic, opening in London’s West End at the Noel Coward Theatre (formerly the Albery Theatre). Whilst in the West End, Avenue Q also enjoyed residencies at the Gielgud Theatre and Wyndham’s Theatre, where it ran until October 2010 ahead of the first UK tour in 2011.
The national tour is being staged by Associate Director Evan Ensign, who has worked on the show previously on Broadway. The cast for the UK tour features Manchester Theatre School graduate Sam Lupton as Princeton and Rod; Katherine Moraz as Kate and Lucy, following West End appearances in Avenue Q; and Julie Yammanee as Christmas Eve. Chris Thatcher reprises the roles of Nicky, Trekkie and Bear, following West End appearances in Avenue Q; Daniella Gibb appears as Mrs T and Bear, with Matt Henry appearing as Gary, a role he played in the original West End production; and Edward Judge plays the role of Brian. The company is completed by Gabrielle Brooks, Arina Ii, Luke Striffler, Rina Takasaki, Jonny Fines and Kayi Ushe.
The Avenue Q UK Tour is produced by Theatre Royal Bath Productions Ltd, by arrangement with Kevin McCollum, Robin Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, Vineyard Theatre, The New Group and Cameron Mackintosh.
Avenue Q runs at the Lowry from 8 - 12 May and at the Liverpool Empire from 11 - 16 June.