Horizon Theatre Company successfully made the mad jump from its intimate Little Five Points theater to the outdoor expanse of Promenade at Piedmont Park for a five-night run of the “PG-13” version of “Avenue Q” that concluded Sunday. And now it’s about to jump again, taking the musical-with-puppets back indoors this weekend for a month of performances.
But it’s a different version of the Tony-winning show that entertained an estimated 4,500 at Piedmont, and a different setting than Horizon’s usual snug space, its 172-seat converted schoolhouse auditorium. On Friday, Horizon instead opens the original risqué Broadway version of “Avenue Q” at Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center.
The troupe is making the move with a strong sense of momentum, Horizon co-artistic director Lisa Adler said.
“Q’s” reception at the park was “all we hoped for and more,” Adler said. “It was quite a party — theater under a huge sky with a wildly diverse audience of all ages. … There were standing ovations every night.”
She said the cast and crew are excited to get back to the adult version of the play, billed as “Sesame Street” meets “The Simpsons” during hit runs in 2011 and 2012, and to take a whirl at performing at the Conant. The troupe is using a seating chart that trims capacity to 450 at the former home of the now-defunct Georgia Shakespeare.
“Now we go back to the full bawdy ‘Q’ at the Conant,” Adler said, “and to being able to bring the play and puppets up close to and out into the audience.”
Upping the adult flavor, three songs excised in the “PG-13” version (among other material) will return: “Loud as the Hell You Want,” “My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada” and “The Internet Is for Porn.” The adult version is suggested for ages 18 and up.
For those who have younger teens they want to take but missed the Piedmont run, Horizon will perform the “PG-13” version three more times at the Conant: 3 p.m. June 20, 5 p.m. June 28 and 8 p.m. July 8.
And for another flavor of the park, a menu for “Puppet Picnicking” on the Conant veranda is being offered by Oglethorpe Dining, including bistro dinner and sandwich boxes, picnic salads and appetizer platters. Menu and pre-order information is linked from the Horizon home page: www.horizontheatre.com.
Horizon Theatre Company presents “Avenue Q”
“Adult version”: June 12-July 12 at Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center. 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. Sundays. (No matinee June 13.)
“PG-13 version” (same as offered in Piedmont Park): 3 p.m. June 20, 5 p.m. June 28 and 8 p.m. July 8.
Regular tickets start at $30 (plus tax). VIP tickets, including reserved preshow table, a drink and other perks, start at $45 (plus tax). (Prices change based on availability and demand.) Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. Tickets: 404-584-7450, tickets.horizontheatre.com. Full details: www.horizontheatre.com.