Avenue Q

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Musical dates
Title: Avenue Q
Original language: English
Music: Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx
Book: Jeff Whitty
Lyrics: Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx
Original direction: Jason Moore
Premiere: 2003
Place of premiere: Vineyard Theater

Avenue Q is a musical about the residents of the fictional street of the same name in New York City , which ran successfully on Broadway from 2003 to 2009 and won several awards. Music and lyrics are by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx , the book by Jeff Whitty . It first launched off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theater in 2003 . Due to its great success, the seasons were extended several times and finally it was moved to the Golden Theater on Broadway at the end of July 2003. On September 13, 2009, the last show was performed on Broadway. However, Avenue Q has not closed, and has moved to the off-Broadway theater New World Stages , where it can still be seen.

Since 2005 the musical can also be seen at the luxury hotel Wynn in Las Vegas . Avenue Q celebrated its West End premiere on June 28, 2006 at the Noël Coward Theater in London . For the European premiere, the show was adapted to reflect European humor. In the course of 2007, additional venues were opened in Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland), Manila (Philippines) and Tel Aviv (Israel). The German-language premiere took place on February 26, 2011 at the St. Gallen Theater. The first performance in Germany took place on April 19, 2012 in the Nationaltheater Mannheim . From June 10 to 24, 2012, the play was shown in a production by the Bavarian Theater Academy August Everding at the Deutsches Theater in Munich . It is currently running at the Theater Hagen and the Theater für Niedersachsen in Hildesheim. From 2017, performances will take place in the Bielefeld Theater.

The plot

Avenue Q is about a group of people who live on fictional "Avenue Q" in one of the outer boroughs of New York City - most of the people are represented by hand puppets. They are as diverse as the unemployed comedian Brian and his fiancée Christmas Eve , a Japanese immigrant and patientless social therapist; and Kate Monster , a dedicated kindergarten teacher who longs for a friend. Or Rod , who denies his homosexuality, and the untidy Nicky , who share a small apartment and are constantly arguing about this and that. Then there is the shaggy Trekkie Monster , the caretaker and former child star Gary Coleman (in the German version initially replaced by Daniel Küblböck in Mannheim , then in Hagen replaced by Agnetha Fältskog , in the Swiss version by Piero Esteriore or David Hasselhoff ) and finally Princeton .

first act

Princeton, who has just finished college, is looking for an apartment without knowing what life is supposed to bring him now ( “What do you do with a BA in English?” ). But that makes it a good fit in the street, where nobody is actually satisfied with their life ( “It sucks to be me” ).

For example, Rod is interrupted while reading by his roommate Nicky and when he reacts very sensitively and dismissively to the subject of homosexuality, Nicky assures him that he would accept him even if he were gay ( "If you were gay " ).

Meanwhile, Princeton learns that he has been fired and needs a new assignment in life. A coin that was minted in the year of his birth gives him new hope to find his meaning in life ( "Purpose" ). Everyone on Avenue Q tells him about the meaning of their lives, including Kate, who wants to open a school just for monsters. When Princeton asks her if she and Trekkie Monster are related, she becomes very angry and describes him as racist. However, after he mentions that Kate's dream of a pure monster school also excludes others, everyone soon realizes that everyone is a little bit racist ( "Everyone's a little bit racist" ).

Princeton meets the Bad Idea Bears, two innocent-looking, cuddly teddies who seduce people into doing unreasonable things. You convince him to invest his money in beer first. Kate receives a call from her boss, Mrs. Thistletwat, telling her that Kate is to teach her class on a subject of her choice the next morning. Her anticipation for her topic - the internet - is quickly sobered, however, when Trekkie Monster and other men from Avenue Q explain to her that the internet was basically only designed for porn ( "The internet is for porn" ).

In the evening, Princeton visits Kate, who is not sure what he thinks of her, and hands her a self-assembled cassette, the contents of which finally convince Kate that Princeton is interested in her ( "mix tape" ). Princeton invites her to the “Around the Clock Café”, where a new singer will appear this evening after Brian's opening ( “I'm not wearing underwear today” ) - Lucy the Slut ( “Special” ).
Kate refuses to have a drink there, thinking about her class the next morning, but the Bad Idea Bears seduce her into some drinking games. When she's not there for a moment, Lucy approaches Princeton and says, once he's ready for a real woman, be there. Later, the Bad Idea Bears finally get Kate and Princeton to go home and have sex together. Despite complaints from the neighbors, Gary Coleman does not interrupt them ( "You can be as loud as the hell you want [when you're making love]" ). Sleepless Rod hears Nicky talking about his affection for him in his sleep and is very enthusiastic about it. Just like Kate, who is incredibly happy that Princeton, lying next to her in bed, gives her his coin to show her how much she means to him ( “Fantasies come true” ). However, Rod later realizes that it was he who dreamed and talked in his sleep.

The next morning, Kate is woken up by Mrs. Thistletwat's call, who is furious that Kate overslept her class. When she calls all the monsters lazy, Kate quits. Princeton and Kate, now a couple, go to Brian and Christmas Eve's wedding, at which everyone asks Nicky if Rod is gay. He affirms this, whereupon Rod denies everything and claims that they have only not yet met his girlfriend who lives in Canada ( “My girlfriend who lives in Canada” ) and throws Nicky out of their apartment. During the wedding, Princeton becomes fearful of commitment, and he breaks up with Kate and asks her to remain friends. She refuses disappointedly ( "There's a fine fine line" [between love and a waste of time]).

Second act

Two weeks later, Princeton is sitting in his apartment - doubtful, alone, unemployed and still without meaning in life ( “It sucks to be me reprise ). Despite the Bad Idea Bears' suggestion to hang himself, he lets Brian and the rest of the neighbors take him outside again ( “There is life outside your apartment” ). Princeton decides to take Lucy the Slut home with them. Christmas Eve explains to jealous Kate that she is only angry because she loves Princeton ( "The more you ruv someone" ). Kate then wants to invite him to meet her on the roof of the Empire State Building. As he is showering, she leaves a letter, which Lucy destroys.

Nicky has lived with each of the neighbors since he was kicked out, but was put back on the streets everywhere because of his sloppiness. When he finally has to beg, Gary Coleman says that such pathetic creatures also do something good for society ( “schadenfreude” ).

Kate, angry that Princeton apparently moved her, tosses his coin from the roof of the Empire State Building. Meanwhile, Princeton is looking for Lucy, who disappeared without another word, and finds her at the foot of the Empire State Building, where she is hit by the thrown Penny and put into a coma. Even in the hospital, Kate and Princeton fail to overcome his fears of attachment. Nicky is still homeless and each of them wishes to be able to go back to happier, old times ( “I wish I could go back to college” ).

The begging Nicky gives Princeton the idea to think about other people. Inspired, he decides to raise money for Kate's monster school, while Nicky decides to look for a friend for Rod. All the neighbors are now collecting money, but unfortunately not much ( “The money song” ). However, when Trekkie Monster learns what the money is being used for and remembers his horrific school days, he donated $ 10 million that he earned through Internet pornography ( "School for Monsters" ).

Since Brian finally has a new job and Christmas Eve - with Rod - has a regular client, they decide to move out of Avenue Q. To no one's surprise , Rod announces that he is gay and that Nicky wants to move in again. He has now found a friend for Rod, Ricky, a more muscular counterpart to Nicky. Meanwhile, the Bad Idea Bears founded Scientology and Lucy recovered to become a Christian. Kate is excited about her new school and Princeton asks her for a second chance, but she needs a day to think about it ( "There's a fine fine line [reprise]" ). A new resident, fresh out of college ( "What do you do with a BA in English? [Reprise]" ), comes out to see Brian and Christmas Eve's apartment, and Princeton has an inspiration: He has to do everything put what he's learned into a show. Everyone rejects the idea, the newcomer doesn't want his advice and Princeton fears that it will never find meaning in life. But the others encourage him: Even if life may look bad at the moment - everything in life is only valid for the moment ([Everything in life is only] "For now" ).

Track list

first act

  • "Avenue Q Theme" - Company
  • “What Do You Do with a BA in English?” - Princeton
  • "It Sucks to Be Me" - Brian, Kate Monster, Rod, Nicky, Christmas Eve, Princeton & Gary Coleman
  • "If You Were Gay" - Nicky & Rod
  • "Purpose" - Princeton & Company
  • "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" - Princeton, Kate Monster, Gary Coleman, Brian & Christmas Eve
  • "The Internet Is for Porn" - Kate Monster, Trekkie Monster, Brian, Gary Coleman, Rod & Princeton
  • "Mixtape" - Kate Monster
  • "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today" - Brian
  • "Special" - Lucy the Slut
  • "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin 'Love)" - Gary Coleman, Bad Idea Bears, Princeton, Kate Monster & Company
  • "Fantasies Come True" - Rod, Kate Monster, Nicky & Princeton
  • "My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada" - Rod
  • "There's a Fine, Fine Line" - Kate Monster

Second act

  • "It Sucks to Be Me (Reprise)" - Princeton
  • There Is Life Outside Your Apartment - Brian, Princeton, Christmas Eve, Gary Coleman, Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Lucy the Slut & Company
  • "The More You Ruv Someone" - Christmas Eve & Kate Monster
  • "Schadenfreude" - Gary Coleman & Nicky
  • "I Wish I Could Go Back to College" - Kate Monster, Nicky & Princeton
  • "The Money Song" - Nicky, Princeton, Gary Coleman, Brian & Christmas Eve
  • "School for Monsters" - Trekkie Monster & Company
  • "The Money Song (Reprise)" - Trekkie Monster & Company
  • "There's a Fine, Fine Line (Reprise)" - Princeton & Kate Monster
  • “What Do You Do With a BA in English? (Reprise) “- Newcomer
  • "For Now" - Kate Monster, Brian, Gary Coleman, Nicky, Rod, Christmas Eve, Trekkie Monster, Lucy the Slut, The Bad Idea Bears, Princeton & Company


Dolls as characters

  • Much of the characters from Avenue Q are not embodied by humans, but rather represented by puppets that are guided and spoken by the actors. These doll characters are Princeton, Kate, Rod, Nicky, Trekkie, Lucy, Mrs. Thistletwat, and the Bad Idea Bears. Gary, Brian and Christmas Eve, however, are "only" represented by people.
  • When a non-doll character speaks to a doll character, he will always look into the doll's face, not that of the actor who is leading it.
  • In the original version, it is intended that an actor takes on several roles, so Kate and Lucy, Princeton and Rod, Trekkie and Nicky, as well as Mrs. Thistletwat and one of the Bad Idea Bears are played by the same actor. Likewise, it happens that an actor speaks a character even though another actor is moving the puppet. This does not necessarily apply to all productions of the play.


  • The dolls, the singing characters and the recorded video clips show certain parallels to Sesame Street and the Muppet Show , which is not particularly surprising. After all, Jeff Marx previously worked for Sesame Street, as did some of the cast of the original New York cast. There is a certain similarity between the dolls not only externally. So the parallels of flat-dwellers Nicky and Rod for example, Ernie and Bert unmistakable while Trekkie Monster to the Cookie Monster recalls.
  • Gary Coleman, the "superintendent" on Avenue Q , a kind of caretaker on the same street, is indeed a former child star. He played "Arnold" in the television series Diff'rent Strokes , where he was best known for the recurring phrase "What'chu talkin '' bout, Willis?" After the series was canceled, however, his career took a steep decline. However, real person Gary Coleman has nothing to do with the musical and has expressed her displeasure about it. In the German-language premiere in St. Gallen, Gary Coleman is replaced by " Piero Esteriore " and in the version shown in Mannheim and Hildesheim by " Daniel Küblböck ".
  • Avenue Q parodies musical genres and compositional styles as well as individual musicals. Christmas Eves 'ballad “The more you ruv someone” (“ruv” instead of “love”, because as a Japanese woman she swaps R and L in accordance with clichés), for example, parodies the pathetic, emotionally charged female ballad as a song type on the one hand, and the song' I have a love on the other “From the West Side Story .

target group

  • Avenue Q is often referred to as a "musical for adults". Despite the cute-looking dolls, the plot deals with problems in the adult world - homosexuality, racism, pornography, homelessness, lack of prospects, sex and human weaknesses are among the issues that Avenue Q addresses.
  • The show doesn't mince its words and doesn't even try to be compliant. For example, dolls are also shown having sex.
  • It is not for nothing that all advertising posters, both in the USA and in Great Britain, bear the parental advisory sticker .


The only thing that is actually certain is that the action takes place in one of the outer boroughs of New York City. Although the makers emphasize that Avenue Q is a fictional street and there is no reference to a real place, there are some theories about the origin of the name.

  • In Manhattan there are actually Avenues A, B, C and D, with Avenue A, which can be found in the middle of downtown Manhattan, being the most expensive street. Avenue Q could thus be the possible continuation of this series - somewhere far from the city center, with rents that even a college graduate can afford.
Line sign of the subway line Q from 1988 to 2001, meanwhile it is yellow
  • Also in Brooklyn is alphabetically designated streets, Avenue A, B, C, etc. is, with some exceptions, to Avenue Z. Interestingly, one of these exceptions Avenue Q. The road between Avenue P and R is named Quentin Road and the U The railway line that runs through this area is the Q line , which for a long time was depicted in an orange circle similar to the Avenue Q logo.


  • Most popular in the international arena - obviously due to its subject matter - is the song "The internet is for porn", which has already gained notoriety separately from the musical through internet exchanges.
  • For all English-speaking viewers, the song " Schadenfreude " gives information about what this German word, originally a Germanism , means.


Broadway production

  • Tony Award for the best musical
  • Tony Award for Best Book on a Musical (Jeff Whitty)
  • Tony Award for Best Composition (Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx)
  • nominated for the Tony Award for Best Director ( Jason Moore )
  • nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical (John Tartaglia)
  • nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Stephanie D'Abruzzo)

  • nominated for the Drama Desk Award for the best musical
  • nominated for the Drama Desk Award for the best book on a musical
  • nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Musical
  • nominated for the Drama Desk Award for the best compositions
  • nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Best Music

  • nominated for the Grammy Award for the best musical soundtrack

London production

  • Variety Club Showbiz Theater Award 2006

Individual evidence

  1. Story of Avenue Q
  2. ^ Avenue Q in the New York Times
  3. Avenue Q on the TfN website ( Memento from August 20, 2016 in the Internet Archive )


  • Julia Bähr, the epicenter of remix culture . An appreciation from YouTube using the example of “The Internet is for Porn”, in: FAZ, February 13, 2015.

Web links