By Tanner Stransky
September 14, 2009 at 04:08 PM EDT

Last night’s performance of Tony-winning Broadway hit Avenue Q was supposed to be the show’s last in New York City, but in a surprise move, it turns out that Q is instead headed to an Off-Broadway venue, with new performances in a 499-seat smaller space to begin Oct. 9. According to a release from the production, it’s a rather unprecedented move: This is the first time a Broadway musical has transferred to an Off-Broadway theater. The Sept. 13 performance had long been set as the show’s final curtain, but at the end of the production, producers appeared on stage to make the announcement that the show would move from its current home at the John Golden Theatre to its new home at New World Stages.

During its six-plus years on Broadway, Avenue Q played 2,534 performances to become, at present, the 20th longest running show in Broadway history. More than 2 million people have seen Avenue Q on Broadway, which doesn’t include its national tour or production in London’s West End. In 2004, the puppet-fronted musical won the Tony for Best Musical against the big-budget spectacle Wicked, which is still selling out the Gershwin Theater on Broadway.