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Avenue Q: Howie Michael Smith returns

Howie Michael Smith ­ who appeared in Avenue Q on Broadway from 2006 through 2009 as 'Princeton/Rod,' playing the role over 1,000 times ­ will resume his role in the Tony Award-winning musical Off-Broadway engagement, beginning27 Sep 2010 at New World Stages' Stage 3.

Smith joins the cast of Avenue Q, which now features Avenue Q Becca Ayers (Mrs. T, Bear & others), Hazel Anne Raymundo (Christmas Eve), Sarah Stiles (Kate Monster & Lucy), Cullen R. Titmas (Nicky & Trekkie Monster), Nicholas Kohn (Brian) and Haneefah Wood (Gary Coleman).

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 16 Jan 2011.

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.'

Howie Michael Smith with Princeton

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