Everything in Life Is Only for Now: ‘Avenue Q’ to Close in April

Nothing lasts. Life goes on, full of surprises.

The raunchy, not-so-politically-correct puppets in the musical “Avenue Q” are only — ahem — “For Now.” The show will be closing its Off Broadway run at New World Stages, where it has played since 2009, in April. The cast and crew members were notified of the closing after Monday night’s show.

“Every show has its life span 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,” Robyn Goodman, one of the producers, said in a phone interview. “We’d like to just go out on a high.”

With songs like “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and characters with vulgar names such as Lucy the Slut, the musical — created by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, with a book by Jeff Whitty — was an unusual match for Broadway when it opened at the John Golden Theater in 2003.

But the show became a hit there, recouping a $3.5 million investment in less than a year. It unexpectedly won the Tony Award for best musical in 2004, beating out “Caroline, or Change,” “The Boy From Oz” and “Wicked.”

“Do you know how many people said to me, ‘You’re not moving that little puppet show to Broadway, are you?’ Including my friend Nathan Lane who said that,” Ms. Goodman explained. “And then, of course, he’s the one who handed us our Tony.”

“Avenue Q” was initially slated to close in 2009. But at the final performance that September, Kevin McCollum, the lead producer, announced it would transfer the next month to New World Stages, an Off Broadway theater. On April 28, when the run ends, it will have been seen more than 6,000 times between the two theaters (more than 2,500 of them on Broadway).

Over its lengthy run, the musical touched on several hot-button political issues. On the 2011 day that New York legalized same-sex marriage, Rod and Ricky, two puppets from the musical, went to City Hall to get married. This came seven years after Rod, a Republican, took part in a Times Square debate between puppet versions of John Kerry and George W. Bush.

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