Working with the Las Vegas impressario Steve Wynn, the producers of “Q” plan to open around Labor Day 2005 in a new $40-million theater built especially for the show. The production had planned to follow the lucrative tradition of touring nationally, hitting major markets like Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Now those plans have been scrapped in favor of an extended, and exclusive, stay on the Las Vegas Strip.
One of those potentially most affected is the giant media company Clear Channel Communications, which owns dozens of theaters around the country and sells subscriptions of touring shows. Reached late yesterday afternoon, Scott Zeiger, the chief executive of Clear Channel’s theatrical division, which is a minority investor in “Avenue Q,” admitted that the possibility that there would not be a tour would be a disappointment for “the road presenters around the country.” Also left out of the deal is the Shubert Organization, the largest Broadway theater owner, whose Golden Theater is the current home of “Avenue Q,” and whose theaters in other cities could well have figured in any tour.
This information is not yet confirmed on the Avenue Q website.
If it turns out to be true… damn, damn, damn. This is a brilliant show, and one that I want to see. I don’t want to have to travel to Vegas just to do so. I think this disenfranchises the millions of theatre lovers who don’t have easy access to Las Vegas or New York — what is someone in New Orleans, Denver, or Chicago to do? They do provide a contact email on their site, so I’ll write the producers and urge them to bring the show to the major markets. I’ll note that it is being discussed a little in the Avenue Q Forums; I expect to see more discussions as the word spreads.
There are shows that belong in Vegas: for example, I’ve always pictured The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public as a Vegas show. But bring Avenue Q to Los Angeles!