Avenue Q
A puppet-filled comedy follows a group of 20-somethings seeking their purpose in big-city life.
Show Essentials
7
Roles
+ Ensemble
15
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

Recent college graduate Princeton, portrayed by a puppet and equipped only with hope and a Bachelor's Degree in English, is looking for two things: his life's purpose and an affordable apartment in New York City ("What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?"). On Avenue Q ("a homey, run-down street in an outer-outer borough"), he finds a building with a sign advertising "Apartment for Rent." He soon meets a motley but friendly assortment of neighbors, including Kate Monster (a kindergarten teaching assistant, also a puppet), Brian (an unemployed comedian, portrayed by a human actor), Brian's Japanese-American fiancé Christmas Eve (also played by a human), and bickering roommates Nicky (a slacker puppet) and Rod (a straight-laced Republican investor puppet). The superintendent of the building is none other than former child TV star Gary Coleman (played by a human actor). Gary and all of the tenants each sing about their personal misfortunes ("It Sucks to Be Me.") Princeton rents an apartment and is welcomed to the neighborhood, and the stirrings of romance begin between Princeton and Kate Monster.

The next scene finds Rod is in his apartment reading a book about Broadway musicals of the 1940s, when Nicky interrupts him and begins relating an anecdote about a gay man who was hitting on him in the subway. Rod immediately becomes uncomfortable, but Nicky assures him that he'd have no trouble accepting Rod if Rod was gay ("If You Were Gay").

The job that Princeton had lined up falls through. Gary Coleman helps convince him that his sudden unemployment is an opportunity to find his life's purpose. Princeton (with backing vocals provided by his moving boxes and other belongings) sings about his desire for a purpose ("Purpose").

Christmas Eve, Brian and Gary Coleman each briefly appear on a video screen and discuss their purpose in life. The screen goes dark and Princeton finds himself out on the Avenue, where he meets Kate Monster. Kate shares with Princeton her dream of creating a special school for monsters, where they can be educated without fear of discrimination. The two then exchange inadvertent racial insults, leading to the ensemble joining them to agree that they are all slightly racist ("Everyone's A Little Bit Racist").

Princeton is approached by the Bad Idea Bears, two adorable, snuggly bears who distract him from his quest to find his purpose and instead convince him to spend his rapidly dwindling funds on a case of beer.

In her apartment, Kate receives a phone call from her unpleasant boss, Mrs. Thistletwat, informing her that Kate will have to take over the morning kindergarten class. Since Kate will be allowed to teach her class on the subject of her choice, she decides that she'll teach them about the Internet. Her perverted neighbor, Trekkie Monster, points out that the primary purpose of the Internet is to provide pornography. The other male characters all confirm this fact ("The Internet Is For Porn").

Rod approaches Christmas Eve for her advice on behalf of his "friend", who is a gay investment banker. Christmas Eve advises Rod to tell this person to stay in the closet. Rod is disappointed.

Princeton brings Kate a mix tape, confirming his romantic interest in her. He asks her to go with him on a date to the Around the Clock Café.

At the café, Brian performs an opening number ("I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today") before introducing Lucy the Slut, a seductive puppet who performs a sultry song ("Special").

Kate initially declines to drink because she's got a big day of teaching tomorrow, but the Bad Idea Bears arrive and convince Princeton and Kate to enjoy some Long Island Ice Teas. Lucy the Slut starts hitting on Princeton until an increasingly tipsy Kate intervenes.

Later that night, Kate and Princeton are having sex in Princeton's bedroom. Brian and Christmas Eve are also having sex in their apartment. The lovemaking becomes quite noisy, but Gary Coleman and the Bad Idea Bears assure us that this is just as it should be ("You Can Be As Loud As The Hell You Want When You're Makin' Love").

In Nicky and Rod's apartment, Rod dreams that he overhears a sleeping Nicky mumble that he is in love with Rod. Rod is overjoyed ("Fantasies Come True") until he awakens and realizes that Nicky's love was only a dream.

Meanwhile, Princeton gives Kate his lucky penny as a token of his commitment to her.

The next morning, we learn that Kate has overslept and missed her class. When Mrs. Thistletwat calls and states that she "should never have hired a Monster", Kate quits her job before she can be fired. Princeton asks Kate to accompany him, as his girlfriend, to the wedding of Brian and Christmas Eve. She agrees.

Gary Coleman presides over the wedding. After the ceremony, Christmas Eve and Gary ask Nicky if Rod is gay. Nicky confirms that he believes that Rod is indeed a "closeted homosexual." Rod overhears this and is furious, protesting that Nicky is wrong about him ("My Girlfriend Who Lives in Canada"). Rod kicks Nicky out of their apartment.

The wedding makes Princeton anxious about the fast pace of his relationship with Kate. He abruptly breaks up with her. Kate is hurt, but salvages her pride ("There's A Fine, Fine Line").

Act Two

Two weeks later, Princeton is moping in his apartment, alone, unemployed, in mounting debt and no closer to finding his life's purpose. The Bad Idea Bears arrive and attempt to convince him to hang himself, but he rebukes them. The neighbors arrive to cheer Princeton up ("There is Life Outside Your Apartment"). Princeton meets up with Lucy the Slut and takes her back to his apartment.

Princeton and Lucy encounter Kate in front of the building. Kate is jealous and crushed. Christmas Eve explains to Kate that love isn't easy ("The More You Ruv Someone").

Kate leaves a note for Princeton, inviting him to meet her at midnight on the viewing platform at the Empire State Building. Unfortunately, Lucy intercepts and destroys the note.

Meanwhile, Nicky has been staying with various neighbors since Rod kicked him out, but has now worn out his welcome with all of them. He asks Gary Coleman to let him sleep on his floor, but Gary refuses, explaining that everyone takes a measure of comfort from the misery of others ("Schadenfreude").

Kate waits for Princeton on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. On the street below, Lucy informs Princeton that she is no longer interested in him. Angry because she believes Princeton has stood her up, Kate throws his lucky penny off the observation deck. It plummets to the street below and strikes Lucy in the head, knocking her cold.

The scene shifts to a hospital, where Princeton and Kate anxiously await word on Lucy's condition. Lucy is still unconscious. Kate realizes that Lucy must have intercepted her note, and that Princeton did not stand her up. Kate confesses that she has abandoned her dream of starting a school for Monsters. Princeton apologizes for hurting Kate's feelings and tells her he still hasn't found his purpose in life.

Nicky, now homeless and begging in the street, attempts to reconcile with Rod. Rod is too proud to accept his apology, but later admits to Christmas Eve that he misses Nicky.

All of the characters express their longing to return to happier times (I Wish I Could Go Back to College).

Nicky, still begging in the street, asks Princeton for a quarter. Princeton turns him down, telling him he needs a moment for himself. Nicky tells him that he should start thinking about other people for a change. Inspired by this idea, Princeton decides to raise money for Kate's Monster school ("The Money Song"). The help of the entire neighborhood is enlisted in fund raising, including Trekkie Monster, who donates millions of dollars he has raised (by investing in pornography) because the cause of a school for Monsters is close to his heart. Nicky decides to find a boyfriend for Rod.

The neighbors present the new school to Kate, who is delighted. Christmas Eve and Brian announce that they are moving out of Avenue Q for a nicer neighborhood. Brian reveals that he has begun a new career as a consultant. Rod announces that he is gay and invites Nicky to move back in with him. Nicky reveals that he has found a boyfriend for Rod, and introduces Rod to Ricky (who looks exactly like Nicky, but is gay).

Christmas Eve reveals to Kate that it was Princeton who spearheaded the fund raising drive. Princeton and Kate begin their reconciliation ("There's A Fine, Fine Line - Reprise".

A Newcomer arrives, expressing interest in renting the apartment being vacated by Brian and Christmas Eve. He is strikingly similar to Princeton ("B.A. In English - Reprise"). Upon seeing the Newcomer, Princeton exclaims that his purpose in life might be to create a show to educate people like the Newcomer about what's in store for them. The others reject this notion immediately, and the Newcomer is insulted by the very idea and storms off. Princeton laments that he may never find his purpose, but the neighbors reassure him that life has its ups and downs and is always full of surprises ("For Now").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Princeton
A fresh-faced kid just out of college and the protagonist. Puppet.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 25
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Kate Monster
A Kindergarten teaching assistant, who is a bit older than Princeton. Puppet.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 30
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F#3
Nicky
A slacker who lives with Rod. Puppet.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: B2
Rod
An investment banker who is Republican and a closeted homosexual. Puppet.
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 30
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Trekkie Monster
A reclusive creature obsessed with the Internet and all it has to offer. Puppet.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range top: Eb4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Lucy
A vixenish vamp with a dangerous edge. Puppet.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 30
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F3
The Bad Idea Bears
Two snuggly, cute teddy-bear types. Puppets.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Mrs. T
Crabby and ancient. Kate's boss. Puppet.
Gender: female
Age: 50 to 65
Brian
A laid-back guy married to Christmas Eve.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: F#4
Vocal range bottom: B2
Christmas Eve
A therapist who recently moved to Avenue Q from Japan.
Gender: female
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Gary Coleman
Yes, that Gary Coleman. Lives on the Avenue and is superintendent of the apartment buildings.
Gender: female
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range top: Bb5
Vocal range bottom: D3
Full Song List
Avenue Q: The Avenue Q Theme
Avenue Q: What Do You Do With a B.A. in English-It Sucks to Be Me
Avenue Q: If You Were Gay
Avenue Q: Purpose
Avenue Q: Everyone's a Little Bit Racist
Avenue Q: The Internet is For Porn
Avenue Q: Mix Tape
Avenue Q: I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today
Avenue Q: Special
Avenue Q: You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Making Love)
Avenue Q: Fantasies Come True
Avenue Q: My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada
Avenue Q: There's a Fine, Fine Line
Avenue Q: There Is Life Outside Your Apartment
Avenue Q: The More You Ruv Someone
Avenue Q: Schadenfreude
Avenue Q: I Wish I Could Go Back to College
Avenue Q: The Money Song
Avenue Q: School For Monsters/ The Money Song
Avenue Q: There's a Fine, Fine Line (Reprise) -What Do You Do With a B.A. in English (Reprise)
Avenue Q: For Now

Show History

Inspiration

The show draws inspiration from the characters and format of Sesame Street. Jeff Marx, one of the show's creators, interned at the Sesame Street program early in his career, and three of the puppet characters are recognizable parodies of classic Sesame Street puppets.

Productions

Avenue Q was developed at the 2002 National Music Theatre Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. It eventually opened Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in March of 2003, where it received rave reviews and its run extended four times before closing in May of 2003.

Avenue Q opened on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on July 31, 2003. After 22 previews and 2,534 regular performances, it closed on September 13, 2009. Six weeks later, Avenue Q opened Off-Broadway at the New World Stages complex. As of July 2013, the musical continues to run at its Off-Broadway home.

The unexpected success of this raunchy and somewhat controversial musical also spawned sit-down productions in Las Vegas and London, two national tours, and a vast array of international productions.

Connect

Billing

Based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx

Requirements

Under the terms and conditions of your organisation’s Performance Agreement, the following credits must appear on all advertising (including websites) relating to the production. Credits must be reproduced faithfully in accordance with the following layout. No alterations or deletions can be permitted unless stated below.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
BILLING/CREDITS

1. SHOW CREDIT
AVENUE Q (100% of Title Size)
MUSIC AND LYRICS 
By
ROBERT LOPEZ and JEFF MARX 
BOOK
By
JEFF WHITTY
BOOK BASED ON AN ORIGINAL
CONCEPT By
ROBERT LOPEZ and JEFF MARX (50% of Title Size)

 
Such billing shall appear on the same line, immediately following the title of the Play, with no other words appearing on such lines. No one may
receive billing larger than Authors, and only the director may receive credit the same size as Authors.

Licensee agrees to include the following credit on the title page of all theater programs and scripts published by or under Licensee's authority
hereunder:
 
 
The world premiere of AVENUE Q was presented by the Vineyard Theatre and The New Group, New York City, February 2003. AVENUE Q premiered on Broadway at the Golden Theater on July 31, 2003, produced by Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey
Seller, Vineyard Theatre and The New Group.
 
 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Authors need not receive billing in paid print advertising of less than π page or in other paid advertising and publicity, in which only the title of the Play, the name of the theater, critics' quotes and/or ticket price scales appear. In such advertisements, the following "shortened billing" is permissible:
 
 
AVENUE Q
 
2. ORCHESTRATOR CREDIT


Licensee shall accord the following credits (in the same size, prominence and style of type as that used for the musical director's credit) on the main
credit page of all theater programs, on houseboards and in all advertising and publicity in which the musical director is billed:
 
Orchestrations and Arrangements
By
Stephen Oremus
 

3. DISCLAIMER


Licensee agrees to include the disclaimer "Avenue Q has not been authorized or approved by the Jim Henson Company or Sesame
Workshop, which have no responsibility for its content" in legible type with a conspicuous font, placement and size, in the following places:

(a) Playbills/Theater venues -- The disclaimer must be posted (on signage) at the box office and in each lobby in the theater. The
disclaimer must also appear in playbills and similar in-theater materials. The disclaimer need not appear on tickets.

(b) Web sites -- If puppets are featured on any website, the disclaimer must appear on the home page of any permitted AVENUE Q web site.

(c) Ads -- If puppets are featured in any advertisements, the disclaimer must appear in advertisements, excluding ABC listings in
newspapers and ads of less than π page.

(d) Misc. -- If puppets are featured on any of the following items, the disclaimer must appear on posters and house cards, souvenir books,
permitted merchandising and stickers affixed to permitted apparel (to the extent such rights are granted).



4. PUPPET DESIGNS RIDER



This license does not include the right to utilize the puppet designs created by Rick Lyon ("Designer"), which are owned by Robert Lopez and
Jeff Marx. If Designer's puppet designs are utilized, Designer will receive solo billing in a line where no one else is billed prior to the line on which
scenery, costume, and lighting designers' names appear, in a size equal to the largest of that of other designers, music director, arranger,
orchestrator, general manager, publicist, assistant director, casting director and below-the-title associate producers. Designer's credit shall
appear as follows:
 
Puppets Conceived & Designed by
Rick Lyon

5. ANIMATION VIDEO

If you purchase the Animation Video for your production, you agree that the designer of the Animation
Video shall receive billing on the title page of all theater programs as follows:
 
 
Animation Design by Robert Lopez

Wherever credits are accorded in connection with the Play in a so-called "billing box", or based on a
separate "billing title" as opposed to the artwork title, provided all credits (except stars above the title, the
Author, the Director/or the Producers of the Play) are so credited, the size of the Animation Designer's
credit shall be equal to that of the scenic, lighting, costume and sound designers and determined by the
size of the Play in said "billing box" or "billing title."

Whenever credits are accorded in connection with the Play in a so-called "movie" or "run-on" billing,
provided all credits (except stars above the title, the Author, the Director and/or the Producers of the Play)
are so credited, the size of the aforementioned credit shall be equal to that of the scenic, lighting, costume
and sound designers and shall be determined by the size of the title of the Play in said "movie billing."
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
KEYBOARD1 - CONDUCTOR SCORE2
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK15

Production Resources

Resource
AVENUE Q PUPPET SET
AVENUE Q VIDEO FOOTAGE
CUSTOMIZABLE SHOW POSTERS
KEYBOARD PATCH SOLUTIONS
LOGO PACK
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
PERFORMANCE ACCOMPANIMENT REC.(OPT)
PERFORMANCE ACCOMPANIMENT RECORDING
REFERENCE RECORDING
REHEARSCORE+
SCENE PARTNER
STAGE MANAGER SCRIPT
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIRTUAL STAGE MANAGER

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASSACOUSTIC BASS , ELECTRIC BASS
DRUMSBELL TREE , BONGOS , CHINA CYMBAL , COWBELL , DRUMS , EGG SHAKER , FINGER CYMBALS , ICE BELL , MARK TREE , RATCHET , SIREN WHISTLE , SLIDE WHISTLE , TAMBOURINE , TEMPLE BLOCKS , TRIANGLE , VIBRASLAP , WOOD BLOCK
GUITARACOUSTIC GUITAR , BANJO , ELECTRIC GUITAR
KEYBOARD 2
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , Bb CLARINET , FLUTE