Avenue Q: Jennifer Barnhart returns

Jennifer Barnhart ­ the original Avenue Q cast member who performed with the show for over seven years from the very beginning at the Vineyard Theatre through its entire run on Broadway ­ will once again join Avenue Q when she resumes the roles of Mrs. T, Bad Idea Bear and other characters on 2 May 2010.

Barnhart ­ who performed Avenue Q well over 2,000 times in her long tenure with the show ­ recently appeared in the Goodspeed Opera House production of 'Jim Henson's Emmet Otter' and at the Union Square Theatre in Stuffed and Unstrung.' Her other credits include: 'Angels in America' (Gallery Players), 'Twlefth Night,' 'Into the Woods' and 'Rumors.' Her list of TV credits include: "Law & Order: SVU", "Sesame Street", "Between the Lions" and "Lomax: the Hound of Music"(PBS/CPTV).

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), Ann Sanders (Christmas Eve), Cullen R. Titmas (Nicky & Trekkie Monster), Nicholas Kohn (Brian) and Danielle K. Thomas (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 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.'

Mary Testa

Originally published on

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