Theatre UAB presents Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q” April 8-12

“Avenue Q” is hilarious, irreverent and definitely not for children. “Muppet”-style puppets, alongside human actors, star in this sweetly satiric coming-of-age parable.

avenue 1“Avenue Q” is not a typical musical: Think “Sesame Street” for adults. Winner of the Tony Awards’ “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, “Avenue Q” is a hilarious, irreverent, sweetly satiric coming-of-age parable performed by “Muppet”-style puppets alongside human actors.

It is an incredible opportunity for students in the University of Alabama at BirminghamCollege of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Theatre, says Valerie Accetta, director and Theatre UAB’s head of musical theater. Besides the challenges of singing and dancing in a typical musical, the actors in “Avenue Q” are also puppeteers.

Theatre UAB will present “Avenue Q” at 7:30 p.m. April 8-11 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 12, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. The show’s music and lyrics are by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, with the book by Jeff Whitty. This play contains adult language and themes and is not for young audiences. General admission tickets are $12 and $15, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit Theatre UAB online at Read more about the age-appropriateness of the show on the Theatre UAB site.

When Princeton, a fresh-faced, young college graduate, embarks upon his first New York adventure, he soon learns life is not like “Sesame Street,” where he was told he was special and could achieve anything. Indeed, he is no more special than anyone else. In his shabby apartment building, Princeton meets a colorful array of puppet characters who help define his purpose in life. Along the journey, he learns many lessons, including “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want When You’re Making Love.” This is definitely not a musical for kids.

“Theatre UAB brought in New York-based, award-winning puppeteer Joshua Holden to coach the students on the unique skills needed to bring these bundles of foam and fur to life,” Accetta said. “During his October workshop and weeklong residency in early March, our students focused on bringing breath and emotional inner life to the puppets, and the result is both hilarious and heartfelt.” Holden, based in Brooklyn, New York, was seen on the Broadway national tour of “Avenue Q.” He will present his one-man show, “The Joshua Show,” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center.

The cast of “Avenue Q” is Ben Lundy of Fairhope as Princeton; Madelyn Burrell of Warrior as Kate Monster; Nole Jones of Prattville as Brian; Russell E. Alexander II of Montgomery as Nicky; Meredith Morse of Westerville, Ohio, as Nicky Left Arm/Mrs. Thistletwat; Mark A. Nelson of Fort Payne as Rod; Alicia Batterson of Columbus, Ohio, as Christmas Eve; Shane Bloemetjie of Huntsville as Gary Coleman; Joseph Baude of Arab as Trekkie Monster; Kyle Hulcher of Fort Worth, Texas, as Trekkie Monster Left Arm/Ricky; Ali Ribe of Indian Springs as Girl Bad Idea Bear; Seth Burgess of Warrior as Boy Bad Idea Bear and Newcomer; and Kayli Porter of Bessemer as Lucy the Slut.

Theatre UAB’s Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater builds on the department’s nationally recognized Bachelor of Arts theater degree, to offer the specific training performers need for success in the working world of musical theater. Students are selected for the BFA program on the basis of their academic ability and their performance in the mandatory audition. They receive highly specialized training in acting, voice and speech, movement, private voice lessons, music theory, piano, ballet, jazz, and tap through partnerships with the UAB Department of Music and other local organizations.