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As Avenue Q Prepares to End Its Run, Look Back on Our Favorite Puppet Photo Ops

Celebrate weddings, bar mitzvahs, and subway rides with our furry friends from the avenue.

Avenue Q, the 2004 Tony-winning Best Musical, will end its 16-year run on May 26. That's a long time for any show — 6,569 performances from its first Broadway preview at the Golden Theatre on July 14, 2003 to its closing at New World Stages — and over that period, they've staged a lot of fun photo ops. Here, we look back at our favorite moments, from weddings and Bar Mitzvahs to anniversary reunions.

1. Rod and Ricky Tie the Knot

Ricky and Rod tie the knot.
(© Peter James Zielinski)

To celebrate the first day of legal marriage equality in New York City, Avenue Q same-sex puppet couple Rod and Ricky were officially married on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at the City Clerk's office. Rod, a Wall Street banker, and Ricky, a body builder from Chelsea, met through an online personal ad placed by Rod's best friend and roommate, Nicky. The ceremony featured Kate Monster as flower girl. In 2018, the couple looked back and told us about their first date.

2. Princeton and Kate Monster Become Bar and Bat Mitzvahs

Princeton looks on as Kate Monster reads her Haftorah.
(© David Gordon)

On January 12, 2017, Avenue Q marked its 3,000th performance off-Broadway and 13th anniversary in New York City with a very important coming-of-age ceremony. Leading characters Kate Monster and Princeton became Bat and Bar Mitzvahs in a room filed with family, friends, and alumni. The festivities were officiated by Time Out New York theater critic Adam Feldman.

3. Avenue Q Gets Political

Avenue Q's Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump puppets.
(photo provided by Sam Rudy Media Relations)

Avenue Q has a history of dabbling in politics. It all started with its successful Tony campaign, which urged voters to "Vote Your Heart" upon casting their ballots for Best Musical. In later years, they've embraced both sides of the political divide by staging mock presidential debates between puppet versions of John Kerry and George W. Bush, and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

4. Riding the Q Train

At the start of 2017, New Yorkers were delighted with the opening of the Second Avenue subway line, bringing Q-line service to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There were no residents more pleased than the denizens of Avenue Q, who decided to hitch a ride on the trains that bear its name and talk to some of the passersby.

5. Avenue Q Cancels Its Closing

Princeton and Rob McClure, and Kate and Anika Larsen look on as Avenue Q producer Kevin McCollum announces that the show wasn't closing after all.
(© Tristan Fuge)

Many people are skeptical that Avenue Q will actually close on May 26, and there's precedent. The production was originally supposed to close on September 13, 2009, after 2,534 performances on Broadway. But during the final curtain call, producer Kevin McCollum got on stage to announce major news: the show wasn't going away after all, but just moving off-Broadway to New World Stages. While it's unlikely this will happen again, we can always dream that "For Now" isn't actually "for now."


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