The Pinoy who wrote Avenue Q

By BOBBY GARCIA – As it turns out, Avenue Q, the Tony Award winning Broadway musical that continues to run on Broadway, has Pinoy blood behind it. Bobby Lopez, who wrote the show with his collaborator Jeff Marx, is half-Filipino.

I met up with the young, talented Tony Award winning genius at the Edison Café on 46th Street in New York to talk about our upcoming production in Manila. He shared how excited he is about this particular production because of his heritage. His mom is Filipina and he hopes he can return to the Philippines and learn more about the country and culture. If schedules permit, he will come to the country for the opening night of the musical on Sept. 7 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

Bobby is a graduate of the prestigious Yale Drama School. He wrote his first song at age seven, calling it Oy Vey, What a Day. His parents encouraged his interest in musical theater, taking him to shows like A Chorus Line, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, and introducing him to the work of Stephen Sondheim, who would eventually write Bobby a recommendation to Yale. “I knew right away that I had found my passion, and I’ve pursued it ever since,” Bobby said.

Avenue Q is Broadway’s smash-hit 2004 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. A hilarious show full of heart and hummable tunes, it is about trying to make it in NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account. Called “one of the funniest shows you’re ever likely to see” by Entertainment Weekly, Avenue Q features a cast of people and puppets who tell the story in a smart, risque and downright entertaining way.

The New Yorker calls it subversive and uproarious!” Because of the mature subject matter and “full puppet nudity,” it is recommended for those aged 15 and up.

Bobby and Jeff Marx are currently writing the screenplay and songs for a new movie-musical for Universal Pictures and writing a new Broadway musical with Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of South Park. Their other works include a new Muppet movie, Kermit, Prince of Denmark, Ferdinand the Bull, a children’s musical for Theater Works/USA and the new theme park version of Finding Nemo at Walt Disney World.

We are very proud of our 2007 Season with Avenue Q and Jessica Hagedorn’s critically-acclaimed play Dogeaters in November. We dedicate it to The Philippine STAR publisher Max Soliven, benefactor of the arts.

I still fondly remember my days as a student in New York and the phone calls from Mr. Soliven when he would come into town to find out what shows he should see. He loved theater and was very vocal about his support for the arts. We will always be grateful for his support, along with everyone at The Philippine STAR.

As I get ready to begin rehearsals for Avenue Q with a great cast that includes Rachel Alejandro, Frenchie Dy and Aiza Seguerra, I look forward to collaborating with my co-director Chari Arespacochaga and the rest of the insanely-talented creative team in a show that is really about trying to make it in the world “while you’re still in your prime.”

And as we enjoy this journey of putting a show together (or, as I like to look at it, creating order out of chaos), we celebrate yet another extremely talented Pinoy artist, Bobby Lopez.

Find more like this: Entertainment

Comments

  1. Lani says:

    I saw this last year in a visit to New York. I can’t wait to watch the local production!

  2. […] of Jeff Marx from Bitter Lawyer and Bobby Lopez from The Pinoy. The picture of them sharing a Tony is from Muppet Wiki (there’s a Web site for […]

  3. […] Here is another fun fact: “As it turns out, Avenue Q, the Tony Award winning Broadway musical that continues to run on Broadway, has Pinoy blood behind it. Bobby Lopez, who wrote the show with his collaborator Jeff Marx, is half-Filipino.” (The Pinoy who wrote Avenue Q) […]

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