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Ann Sanders returns as 'Christmas Eve'

Ann Sanders - who enjoyed a long run as 'Christmas Eve' in Avenue Q during its six-year run on Broadway - returns to the Tony Award-winning musical to resume the role of the lovable, no-nonsense Japanese therapist 'Christmas Eve,' starting 5 Apr 2010.

Sanders played 'Christmas Eve' for three years on Broadway, having originally served as understudy for the part. Sanders� other musical credits include 'Belle' in 'Beauty and the Beast' on Broadway; 'Miss Saigon,' 'Show Boat,' 'Carousel,' 'Man of La Mancha' and 'The King and I.'

Sanders joins the cast of Avenue Q at New World Stages, which also features members from the musical�s Broadway, Las Vegas and National Tour productions: Sarah Stiles (Kate Monster/Lucy), Seth Rettberg (Princeton/Rod), Cullen Titmus (Nicky/Trekkie Monster), Danielle K. Thomas (Gary Coleman), Ann Sanders (Christmas Eve), Nicholas Kohn (Brian) and Maggie Lakis (Mrs. T/Bad Idea Bear).

Avenue Q is about a rundown outer-borough neighbourhood, where the residents - both puppets and humans - deal with everyday New York challenges like getting a job, falling in love and discovering their purpose in life.

Avenue Q, transferred its 6-year run on Broadway to Off-Broadway's New World Stages. The musical opened at the Off-Broadway venue on 21 Oct 2009, following previews from 9 Oct, and is currently selling tickets through to 21 Nov 2010.

The producers of Avenue Q, which played over 2,500 on Broadway and concluded its run as the 20th longest-running show in Broadway history, surprised theatergoers on 13 Sep 2009 when they announced from the stage following the final curtain that the show would, in fact, not close and would move from the John Golden Theatre to New World Stages for an open-end run Off-Broadway.

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 by Mirena Rada, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.

The musical is produced at New World Stages by Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, The Vineyard Theatre and The New Group.

Winner of three 2004 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score ( Lopez and Marx) and Best Book of a Musical (Whitty), Avenue Q opened on Broadway in July 2003, having transferred to the John Golden Theatre from an extended sold-out engagement Off-Broadway at The Vineyard Theatre in Union Square.

During its six-plus years on Broadway, Avenue Q played a total of 2,534 performances, surpassing such musicals as 'The Producers,' Oklahoma!' and Annie to become, at present, the 20th longest-running show in Broadway history.

Originally published on