The Broadway Fake Book: Tension at 'Avenue Q' as Snubbed Puppets Protest Tony Nods
There was a tense scene on stage at the end of last night's performance of Avenue Q as puppet performers Princeton, Kate Monster, Rod, Nicky, Lucy T. Slut and Trekkie Monster interrupted curtain calls to publicly express their displeasure at being snubbed by the Tony Award nominating committee.
Although Avenue Q did receive six Tony nominations, the puppet stars were not recognized in any of the acting categories despite the belief by many that the show would be nothing without them. Several puppets volunteered to participate in the show's "Vote Your Heart" CD, which was distributed to Tony voters early this week, but once the nominations were announced, human cast members have complained to Equity that the puppets have begun stepping on their lines and making upstaging movements during their laughs. Last night's demonstration was the first sign that these actions were part of an organized protest.
"Speaking as a college graduate", announced Princeton, who holds a B.A. in English, "we have taken the advice of our colleagues, The Bad Idea Bears, and have searched our consciences and our hearts and find that you guys should not accept your nominations, and should prefer to stand instead with us, the egregiously overlooked."
"You want us to turn down our nominations?", gasped Stephanie D'Abruzzo, nominated as Best Leading Actress in a musical.
"That's right, girlie.", snapped Kate Monster. "Why should you get all the credit when we're the ones they come to see? Hey folks," she asked the audience, "anybody want to pay a hundred bucks to see this one waving her hand in the air for two and a half hours?"
'C'mon, we're a team here.", Best Actor nominee John Tartaglia pleaded. "If I win I know I'm going to mention all of your names in my speech."
The puppets all doubled-over with laughter, several rolling on the stage floor unable to control their amusement.
"Dream on, pretty boy!", chuckled Rod. "Hugh Jackman's gonna kick your butt all over Radio City Music Hall."
"Don't bother buying the bottom half of the dress." sneered Lucy T. Slut at D'Abruzzo. "Nobody on TV is going to see it!"
"That's enough, that's enough.", complained an annoyed Ann Harada. "I didn't get nominated. Neither did Jordan or Natalie or Rick or Jennifer. You don't see us acting like spoiled brats. Grow up."
"Oh, like I'm really going to take advice from someone who did Suessical." snickered Nicky. "Talk to the hand. Horton's not hearing a Who this time."
"I think you guys are forgetting something.', shouted Rick Lyon, trying to be heard above the laughter. 'I'm the one who created you. If anybody should be getting an award for your performances, it's me."
"Oh?", growled Trekkie Monster. "You create us? WE create YOU!! You nobody without us. People in audience... what me name?"
The sold out house yelled nearly in unison, "Trekkie Monster!"
"Now... no look at Playbill. What his name?"
After several moments of silence, a timid voice in the mezzanine asked weakly, "Jeffrey Lyons?"
"You think it over.", continued Princeton. "You know, not being nominated is a pretty upsetting experience. Who knows how it might affect us. Why, all of us might just suddenly lose our expert comic timing."
"That right.", agreed Trekkie Monster. "We still say lines. We still sing songs. But we no know how funny we can be without support from colleagues."
Rod then faced Tartaglia nose to nose and sneered, "Let's see how many sold out dates you can get at Ars Nova when this show stops getting laughs, pretty boy."
"Come on gang. ", called Lucy T. Slut to her puppet mates, "Cocktails at Angus McIndoe."
While the rest of the human cast looked out in stunned silence, Rick Lyon shouted into the wings, "This is an emergency! Does anyone have Julie Taymor's cell phone number? I need Julie Taymor's cell phone number!"
The Broadway Fake Book, a series of theatre-related news items that have nothing to do with reality, congratulates all the fine artists, whether nominated or not, for their achievements during the 2003-04 Broadway season.