‘Avenue Q’ To End New York City Run After 16 Years

The bawdy puppet musical, which became a surprise hit in 2003, will end its long run in the spring.

An Avenue Q performance
Rob Kim / Getty Images

The bawdy puppet musical, which became a surprise hit in 2003, will end its long run in the spring.

Avenue Q, the popular musical that featured both humans and puppets and expertly parodied many of the conventions of Sesame Street, will close next April, the New York Times reported.

The show opened off-Broadway in 2003, transferred to Broadway later that year, and moved to the off-Broadway New World Stages in 2009. There have also been various tours of the show around the world, as well as a brief, ill-fated Las Vegas run.

“Every show has its lifespan and we’ve done well for 15 years and chances are at some point in the next year, our advances are going to go down because there are going to be so many other wonderful shows around,” producer Robyn Goodman told the Times. “We’d like to just go out on a high.”

After the April closure, Avenue Q will have seen 6,000 performances in New York, with many more in other cities over the course of 16 years.

Avenue Q was written by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, with a book by Jeff Whitty, and is set on a Sesame Street-like block which is inhabited by both humans and Muppet-style puppets; several of the puppeteers who were originally part of the show had previously worked on Sesame Street.

The show tells the love story between two puppets, Princeton and Kate, who meet after Princeton graduates from college and arrives in New York. The other characters include a pair of puppet roommates in the tradition of Ernie and Bert, except one of them is a closeted gay man. There’s also Trekkie, an Oscar the Grouch-like monster who’s vocal about his love of internet porn. Gary Coleman also appears as a character – always played by a woman – and continued to even after the former child star died in 2010.

The show’s most famous songs include “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist,” “My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada,” “The Internet is For Porn,” and “Schadenfreude.” Avenue Q won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Original Book; the show surprisingly took Best Musical over the favored Wicked. The Tony wins contributed to Robert Lopez’s EGOT, which was completed when he won an Academy Award for co-writing the music for 2013’s Frozen along with his wife, Kristen Anderson Lopez.

In 2011, on the day New York State legalized same-sex marriage, two male puppets from the show were married at City Hall, according to Broadway.

The final performance of Avenue Q will take place April 28.