News Nuggets: ‘Avenue Q’ celebrates 1,000 performances at New World Stages

Vulture sets out to name the best TV drama of the last 25 years in tournament form. “Breaking Bad” vs. “Friday Night Lights” in the quarter-finals: “It is, of course, ridiculously American to pit television shows against one another, as if they were politicians or beauty queens. But given that proviso, there are fundamental differences between ‘FNL’ and ‘Breaking Bad.’ The former is terrifically entertaining, and often moving. I enjoy watching it more than ‘Breaking Bad.’ But this enjoyment arises, in some measure, from the fact that I’m always aware the characters are going to be okay. In a deeper sense, I’m always aware the characters are characters. I never feel that way watching ‘Breaking Bad.'” VULTURE

Esperanza Spalding stays true to herself on her second album: “Winning a Grammy would prompt some artists to rethink their next album. Not Esperanza Spalding — she didn’t change a hair on hers. The explosively coiffed jazz singer and bassist — who shockingly won the 2011 best new artist Grammy over Justin Bieber and Drake — insists her fourth album ‘Radio Music Society’ (out March 20) is the same record she would have made three years ago. Because that’s about when she started it.” JAM! MUSIC

Grammy-winners The Civil Wars continue their breakthrough year: “The pair — Joy Williams and John Paul White — was booked to write and record a song for a documentary on hunger at T Bone Burnett‘s West Los Angeles studio-a coup in itself. But by the end of the weekend they had scored their first film, written and recorded songs for the documentary-and the much anticipated ‘Hunger Games’ film-and laid down a collaboration with the Chieftains. Soon thereafter, the Civil Wars would be back at Burnett’s studio co-writing and recording with superstar Taylor Swift, whose enthusiasm for the band helped jump-start its career in February 2011.” BILLBOARD

Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy on his latest film, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen“: “No stranger to doing successful adaptations Beaufoy says his mantra is keeping the people, tone, spirit and heart of a book the same but putting everything else up for grabs. He describes the process of turning book-into-film sometimes as ‘bruising.’ He met [‘Salmon’ author Paul] Torday before they started and got his blessing but did not engage with him after that point. ‘I think you are doing a disservice to a novel just by transposing it wholesale on to the screen because it doesn’t work.'” DEADLINE

“Avenue Q” will soon celebrate 1,000 performances at its current off-Broadway home: “The Tony Award-winning musical ‘Avenue Q,’ which played a six-year run on Broadway before moving to New World Stages, will celebrate its 1,000th performance at its Off-Broadway home March 14. On that date, the production will reach a combined total of 3,534 performances—2,534 on Broadway and 1,000 at New World Stages. The current cast of ‘Avenue Q’ includes Lexy Fridell, Nicholas Kohn, Veronica J. Kuehn, Rob Morrison, Hazel Anne Raymundo, Jeffrey David Sears and Haneefah Wood.” PLAYBILL

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