Avenue Q promotional events:
In a World AIDS Day benefit in 2004, the original cast of Avenue Q and the cast of the recent Broadway revival of Fiddler On The Roof presented a 10-minute performance that was essentially a spoof of Fiddler and Avenue Q called “Avenue Jew,” in which Trekkie Monster played the Fiddler Theme and, at its conclusion, ate the fiddle. In a sort of epilogue to Tevye’s story, Tevye, his wife Golde, and his two remaining unwed daughters arrive on Avenue Jew, an area inhabited by Jewish puppets (the cast played Jewish versions of their usual characters). Avenue Jew is also home to some human Jews such as Brian and Hannukah Eve. The human Jews are fed up with the puppet Jews upstaging them. Jewish-American Princeton arrives asking “What do you do with a B.A. in Yiddish?” One of Tevye’s daughter’s, Shprintze, falls in love with Princeton, but Tevye forbids their union. The Matchmaker (who is played by Mrs. Thistletwat) sets Rod up with Lazar Wolf (“I’m a lonely man, Tevye”). After a brief interior monologue, Tevye finally consents to Princeton and Shprintze’s marriage. Rod and Lazar Wolf also wish to be wed, so they decide to ask permission from the Tsar, who happens to be a puppet Bush, who forbids gay marriage. Ben Brantley interrupts, asking who the real Jewish people in the cast are, and the company finish by telling us that “everyone’s a little bit Jewish” and “in theatre you can be whatever you want to be.”
Avenue Q is a homage to Sesame Street.
Many of the characters in Avenue Q are modelled after (and parodies of) characters from Sesame Street. For example, Rod and Nicky are Bert and Ernie and Trekkie Monster is Cookie Monster (although addicted to porn rather than cookies).
Some of the songs are even parodies of Sesame Street-style songs. One example is “Shadenfreude”, a parody of the “let’s learn a new word!” type of songs from the series.
Avenue Q was conceived and written (both music and lyrics) by Robert Lopex and Jeff Marx, with the book by Jeff Whitty. It is hugely inspired by the children’s program Sesame Street, and many of the characters are puppets, which are performed onstage by actors. The show depicts the life of several tenants on the fictional Avenue Q in an Outer Borough of New York City.
The show was originally developed in Waterford, Connecticut, in 2002. It opened at the Vineyard Theatre on Off-Broadway in March 20033 before moving to Broadway that July. At the 2004 Tony Awards, it won Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Musical, beating out shows including Wicked and Caroline, Or Change for all three.
The show officially transferred back to Off-Broadway on October 21, 2009.