'Avenue Q' creators to pay tribute to late Gary Coleman
The creative team behind the off-Broadway production of "Avenue Q" said in a statement that they will pay tribute to actor Gary Coleman, who died after a brain hemorrhage sustained in a fall at his home.
Among the characters in the irreverent musical is "Gary Coleman," a former child actor who has fallen on hard times and is now working as a building superintendent. "Coleman" has been played by a female actor in productions in New York and Los Angeles. One of the songs performed by the character is titled "It Sucks to be Me."
According to some reports, the real Coleman was not pleased by the musical's less-than-flattering portrayal of his downward career trajectory. The diminutive actor -- who rose to fame in the TV series "Diff'rent Strokes" -- was said to have contemplated suing the production, but he apparently decided against it.
Promoters of "Avenue Q" said that actress Danielle K. Thomas, who currently portrays Coleman in the musical, will pay tribute to him from the stage after Friday evening's performance.
"Avenue Q" is now running at the New World Stages, an off-Broadway theater complex. The show ran on Broadway from 2003 to 2009 and won the 2004 Tony Award for best musical.
Photo: Cast members from an Old Globe production of "Avenue Q" at the San Diego theater in 2007. The character of "Gary Coleman" is second from the left. Credit: Carol Rosegg.