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Avenue X - Full Length Musical, Drama

Avenue X

John Jiler, Ray Leslee

Customer Rating: starstarstarstarstar (Rate this!)

Full Length Musical, Drama

6m, 2f

ISBN: 9780573695612

Concept, Book and Lyrics by John Jiler
Music and Lyrics by Ray Leslee
"A sweet nostalgia trip.... The exuberant doo wop vocalizing turns out to be ... the brightest thing." - NY Daily News

"Think of West Side Story to a doo wop beat.... It is a real pleasure...Avenue X will thrill. I ha…

: Acting Edition
: Perusal Score Download

Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.


Full Length Musical



Time Period - 1960s, 1950s


Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes


Mild Adult Themes




College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre


From Off-Broadway, Richard Rogers Award

WINNER! 1992/92 Richards Rogers Award 
WINNER! 1997 Barrymore Award (Philadelphia) - BEST MUSICAL
WINNER! 1997 Los Angeles Ovation Award - BEST MUSICAL
WINNER! 1996 Austin Critics Table Award - BEST MUSICAL
WINNER! 1995 Kleban Award - BEST LIBRETTO
WINNER! 1993 Dallas Theatre Critics Award - BEST MUSICAL
This a cappella doo wop musical takes place in Brooklyn in 1963. The Italian Americans stay on one side of the street and the blacks on the other. Volatile issues and effectively nostalgic rock and roll history emerge when two youthful singers from different sides of the street put together an act for a talent show at the legendary Fox Theater. Twenty four musical numbers affectionately recreate the genuine sounds of the era.

"A sweet nostalgia trip.... The exuberant doo wop vocalizing turns out to be ... the brightest thing." - NY Daily News

"Think of West Side Story to a doo wop beat.... It is a real pleasure...Avenue X will thrill. I had a great time!" - Clive Barnes, New York Post

"The preview I attended was packed with young people who squealed, screamed, whooped, whinnied, laughed and applauded." - New Yorker

Avenue X is what musicals are all about! Panoramic, rich, a musical feast. Bursting with the kind of talent, wit and energy that separates the living theatre from entertainment that comes in a can." - Vincent Canby, New York Times

"We are transported as cast members sing their hearts, throats and guts out." - John Simon, NY Magazine

Ave X marks the spot for originality. There is a vitality about this show, a real freshness." - Martin Gottfried, New York Law Journal

"Simply a marvel...infectiously melodic and...joyous, staggering and genuinely witty...encompassing a truly staggering range of musical styles." - The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Lush, booming, soaring. A musical for people who don't like musicals." - Los Angeles Weekly

"To hell with Johann Strauss: Avenue X is the show to see in Vienna this holiday season." - Financial Times, Vienna, Austria

"Ray Leslee's score features dense, complex harmonics and modulations, showing influences of classical and Eastern European choral music mixed with traditional Italian folk tunes, gospel and R&B. The blending of Pasquale and Milton in a falsetto one-upmanship would be the envy of any purveyor of bel canto, and the elegiac wail of grief that opens and closes the work is haunting in its stark power." - Opera News

"Avenue X is a triumph of musical theater, an a cappella celebration and more... Every performer shines, the script invites reflections and the intelligent, challenging and melodic score still has me humming the tunes days after seeing the show." - Philadelphia Weekly

"Exuberant! The songs and singers soar. A trip to Avenue X is a necessity." - Associated Press

"Lustrous and exultant." - San Francisco Chronicle

"Bracingly pure. The thrill goes right up the back of your neck." - Dallas Morning News

"Razor-sharp, feverish, soul-stirring." - Texas Triangle

"Gritty, poignant, an exhilarating re-invention of doo-wop." - Seattle Post Intelligencer

"A doo-wop opera? A musical tragedy ? An a cappella drama ? Avenue X is not only a new and thrilling kind of show. Ray Leslee and John Jiler have created a show that is witty and moving and packs some political punch." - City Paper Philadelphia

"Avenue X sings in near-perfect harmony in its staging at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park -- but it is the book that is this show's true strength. Avenue X is driven by its dialogue. The book is gritty, moving, at times funny, and authentic." - Cincinnati Post

"Avenue X is a musical theatre experience like no other. The music and the plot will move you, not for their originality or depth, but for the ingenious way in which they are both so totally connected. And as for all of the snooty enemies of musical theatre: I strongly suggest broadening your mind, and this is a great place to start." - Michigan Daily

Avenue X premiered at Playwrights Horizons in February 1994, winning the Richard Rodgers Award in 1992 and 1993.


6m, 2f


Multicultural casting

Rental Materials


Piano Only





Piano/Conductor Score
Chorus Books

Song Samples


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