Long-running Best Musical Avenue Q Offers a Live-Streamed ‘Presidential’ Debate Monday at New World Stages
By: Ellis Nassour
The cast of long-running Best Musical Avenue Q, in the tradition they began in 2004 with a bully puppet ‘presidential’ debate between faux furry George W. Bush and John Kerry, will host another bully puppet debate Monday at noon at New World Stages.
Jen Bender, Avenue Q’s resident director notes, “This is an effort to get out the vote and keep the public informed about vital issues such as race, unemployment, religion, and LGBT matters.”
The faux Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump puppets will make their debut in a Town Hall-style debate – a preview to the actual first-scheduled debate between the real Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump that night on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and Public TV networks from 9 P.M. – 10:30, with NBC’s news anchor Lester Holt as moderator/referee.Though this special event is by invitation-only, it will be streamed live on BroadwayWorld.com.
If you’re one of those who feel life sucks, is a joke, or something somewhere in between during this longest Presidential election campaign in decades which can’t be over soon enough, take heart.
Avenue Q, the Tony-winning and Drama Desk-nominated Best Musical, with award-winning music and lyrics by Robert Lopez [Frozen; Book of Mormon] and Jeff Marx and directed by Jason Moore — now back Off Broadway where it all began] and in its 13th year, have their furry stars entering the race to see who can really make America great again.
The invited audience and those webcast watching will be introduced to the new additions to the Q family: the Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump puppets. They may not be politically correct but, for the most part, will be anatomically correct and feature the distinct features of the real candidates squaring off that night.
The debate will be attended by such celeb puppets as Avenue Q’s Rod, the still-closeted Republican Wall Street investment banker; vivacious chanteuse Lucy, who, incidentally, bears a striking resemblance to Melania Trump, though she uses another speech writer (Jeff Whitty); Trekkie Monster, noted for his savvy money-making schemes peddling porn on the internet; and cast member Christmas Eve, a Japanese psychotherapist with immigration, language, and assimilation issues.
Members of the audience will be able to present Town Hall-type questions to the candidates.
Resident director Jen Bender states, “Avenue Q’s storyline is about New York twenty-somethings just out of college trying to find purpose in life. In smart, savvy, and hilarious ways, it addresses quality of life issues of concern to voters in this year’s election.”
The presidential candidate puppets are created and designed by Rick Lyon, who conceived and designed the musical’s puppets.
For information about Avenue Q, visit www.avenueq.com.