Avenue Q is the hilarious and politically incorrect comedy that edged out Wicked to win the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical, before going on to become Broadway’s 20th longest running show. Somewhat racy, but with a “gigantic heart,” this contemporary cult-classic is really a Sesame Street for grown-ups. Set in a highly diverse, very musical, neighborhood populated by eccentric characters (including adult puppets and their visible puppeteers), the show deals with adult problems in all shapes and sizes.
Christine (Sarah Brown in Weston’s Guys and Dolls) and Randy Blair (Barfee in Weston’s Spelling Bee) are the Avenue Q newbies. They will be joining David Benoit, Steven Booth, Lexy Fridell, Zonya Love and Sharon Wheatley, who have been part of the show’s Broadway, touring, and/or Las Vegas casts, for this all new production. WPTC Producing Director Tim Fort directs.
Avenue Q tells the story of a bright-eyed, recent college graduate named Princeton who settles in Avenue Q, the last affordable neighborhood in New York City. In warm and witty songs like “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist,” and “The Internet is for Porn,” Princeton and his new friends (a mix of live characters and puppets) learn about losing a job, falling in love and finding your place in the world. Suggested for mature audiences, the show was conceptualized by Tony winners Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who wrote the music and lyrics to go with the Jeff Whitty’s Tony winning Book.
The production team features music direction by Rob Meffe, choreography by Jacob Brent, puppetry coaching by Sharon Wheatley, scenic design by Howard C. Jones, lighting design by Kendall Smith, costume design by Daniel Urlie, sound design by Ed Chapman and production stage management by Kathleen Petroziello.
Christine Toy Johnson is an award-winning actor, playwright, and filmmaker. As a performer, she has appeared extensively on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country, in film, television, and concerts worldwide for over 25 years and is the recipient of a Boomerang Fund for Artists Award in recognition of her acting and writing careers. She has had featured roles in the New York revivals of THE MUSIC MAN, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, and PACIFIC OVERTURES, the national tours of CATS, FLOWER DRUM SONG and BOMBAY DREAMS, and leading roles at some of the most well-respected theatres across the country including the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Huntington Theatre and The Denver Center Theatre Company. Film and television credits include “Lisa West” on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, CROSSING JORDAN, BLIND JUSTICE, GROUNDED FOR LIFE, NUNSENSE and NUNSENSE 2 (PBS and A&E), LAW AND ORDERS: SVU and CRIMINAL INTENT, OZ, CONSPIRACY THEORY, JUNGLE 2 JUNGLE, L.I.E and ALL AMERICAN EYES which she also wrote and produced. She and her husband Bruce Alan Johnson collaborated on TRANSCENDING,THE WAT MISAKA STORY, their award-winning documentary about the first person of color to play in the NBA. For more information about Wat Misaka, visit www.watmisaka.com.
Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.
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Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Dr. Leroy Chiao and Wat Misaka to Receive 2010 OCA Pioneer Awards in Houston
Screening of “Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story”, Kicks Off OCA National Convention and 6th Annual Houston APA Film Festival on June 17; Wat Misaka and Dr. Leroy Chiao to Receive 2010 OCA Pioneer Awards
Harada, Leung, Llana, Johnson, Takara Et Al. Sing Once On This Island on May 16 at Theatre at Saint Peter’s Church
A Helluva Town DVD Release Celebration and Fundraising Concert for Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story
New York Knicks to Honor Wat Misaka at Madison Square Garden
Offical List of Films for the 2009 San Diego Film Festival
Making Work Now: The Asian American Artistic Community
Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story Screens at Rhode Island International Film Festival on 8/8 Wat Misaka: First Person of Color Drafted in NBA
Christine Toy Johnson’s Paper Son at Queens Theatre in the Park Studio Theatre
Christine Toy Johnson Kicks Off Pan Asian Rep’s Newworks 09
Portrait of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta to Be Presented at the National Portrait Gallery
Making the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution Bill a Reality
Asian Women Donors Grant $82,000 to NYC Artists and Non-profits Committed to Activism Thru The Arts
AALDEF and the 33rd Asian American International Film Festival co-sponsors screenings of 9500 Liberty and Lt Watada at the Quad Cinema on July 17
Raymond Red’s Manila Sky Kicks Off the 33rd Asian American International Film Festival at the Chelsea Clearview Cinema on July 15; Festival continues through July 24
33rd Asian American International Film Festival Shorts Film Program Lineup
Photos by Lia Chang at the Shanghai World Expo 2010’s USA Pavilion, Library of Congress and Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection in L.A.Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection Exhibition at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, has been extended through November 7, 2010
Photo Call: BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.
Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.