Avenue X (New Theater Wing)

Studio Theater

Book & Lyrics by John Jiler
Music & Lyrics by Ray Leslee
Directed by Mark Brokaw

Avenue X-- the first major a cappella musical-- is a powerful and timely event. Creators John Jiler and Ray Leslee employ doo-wop, be-bop, rock 'n' roll, and the beginnings of rap to explore the explosive relationship between the African American and Italian American communities of 1963 Brooklyn. Their spectacular 25-song score sung by eight brilliant voices is alternately rooted in rhythmic gospel and slave chants or swing, with the faint echo of Verdi.

Two boys, bound for escape from their black and white worlds, accidently meet in the Avenue X sewers, the only place safe from the racial chaos of the streets above. In song they find an uneasy alliance which segues into mutual respect and trust, but the spectre of racial violence intervenes when the two young men decide to enter their act in a talent contest at the Brooklyn Fox Theater.

Ted Brunetti
Alvaleta Guess
Colette Hawley
Keith Johnston
John Leone
Roger Mazzeo
Harold Perrineau, Jr.
Ellis E. Williams

Scenic Designer: Loy Arcenas
Costume Designer: Ellen McCartney
Lighting Designer: Donald Holder
Sound Designer: Janet Kalas
Production Stage Manager: Lisa Buxbaum
Choreographer: Ken Roberson
Music Director/Arrangements: Chapman Roberts
Fight Director: Rick Sordelet