Avenue Q wasn’t the first attempt at parodying Bert and Ernie’s intimate roommate relationship. This 2002 short film by Peter Spears ran at the Sundance Film Festival, but was kept from further distribution when its director was served a cease and desist order by Sesame Workshop’s lawyers. The short is based loosely on The Children’s Hour, a tragic play by Lillian Hellman about unrequited love between two women.
“There are lessons to be learned on Avenue Q: lessons about the fleeting nature of contentment and success, the highs and lows of passion, and the frustrated struggle to try and find a purpose in life. The fact that these lessons are presented by puppets that sing and dance seems clever rather than contrived.”
— Tom Smith’s review of Avenue Q, published in Theatre Journal, 2004
“A puppet must always be more than his live counterpart–simpler, sadder, more wicked, more supple. The puppet is an essence and an emphasis. For only in this way does a puppet begin to reflect the truth.”
— Bill Baird (1904-1987)
The cast of Avenue Q’s 2010 off-broadway run respond to the Muppets’ version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” with their own Queen montage.