Current VPA News

Patrick Finlon

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, "Avenue Q" is part flesh (people), part felt (puppets) and packed with heart. This long-running Broadway hit is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet-surfing monster), Lucy the Slut (and proud of it), and a host of quirky neighbors who help Princeton finally discover his purpose in life. A little bit naughty, a lot a bit nice, and with enough satire to satisfy the monster in all of us. Contains mature content and dialogue.

Presented by the Department of Drama in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (SU Drama), "Avenue Q" performs April 24 through May 9 in the Storch Theater at the Syracuse Stage/Drama Complex, 820 East Genesee Street. Tickets range $17-$19 and can be purchased at, by phone at 315-443-3275, or in person at the Box Office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

"Avenue Q" features music and lyrics by Academy Award-winner Robert Lopez (Disney’s "Frozen") and Jeff Marx, with a book by Jeff Whitty. After its development at the 2002 National Music Theatre Conference, the musical opened off-Broadway in March 2003, and shortly thereafter transferred to Broadway in July 2003. In 2004, "Avenue Q" received the Tony “Triple Crown” Awards for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. Since October 2009, "Avenue Q" has played at New World Stages.

Set in the fictitious “outer-outer borough” of New York City, "Avenue Q" follows young adult puppet, Princeton, through his struggles and adventures with his new neighbors. The coming of age story is brought to life by a cast of people and puppet characters. Irreverent and shocking, "Avenue Q" could be described as an adult version of "Sesame Street." The musical satirizes the television show with humor and pop culture references.

The SU Drama production features a series of unique show elements, including original animations by a team of Syracuse University students and faculty supervisor, Heath Hanlin. The cast of musical theater and acting students has taken on the additional roles of puppeteers in this comical musical.

“The cast members have all trained in acting, singing, and dancing. Now, they have to do all of that and something completely different and nearly unrelated at the same time,” said the director, Brian Cimmet. He explained, “So many of the characters are animated through the use of puppets that the performers' voices play much larger roles in the manifestation of their characters.”

Cimmet has been a fan of "Avenue Q: since its beginnings, and he believes it is a strong finale to SU Drama’s 2014-2015 season. “We conclude with a show that serves as a segue to real life – the underlying desire to find some joy in everything.”