How about a sequel to the Tony-award winning musical, Avenue Q, titled “Q2.” Whereas the first show, which first ran in 2004, dealt with a cautiously optimistic group of young adults believing that their world will eventually yield results, Q2 would focus on the same characters in a post-crash world: still unemployed, or saw their business ventures go up in smoke, still unhappy, and still unfulfilled.
I picture it opening up on the funeral for former superintendent Gary Coleman, with the character Nicky claiming that he just can’t laugh at others misfortune any more. It’ll start with a minor version of the original opening “the rain is falling and the skies are gray” replacing “the sun is shining, it’s a lovely day” and so on. As the show moves on, we find out that the “Monsterssori” school is in financial straits due to bad investments and a risky building loan. Kate Monster is stuck trying to keep the place afloat, and deciding whether or not to cut the internet connection to the school due to a pornography scandal and a new song entitled “The Internet Is Watching You.”
After being chastised by the “Newcomer” from the original show, mocked because his Business degree has him making three times what he used to, Princeton is back living with his parents. The new venture capital firm has closed down their apartment building after Gary’s death plan for the building to be replaced with… oh, I don’t know, something stupid. We start off with P singing “What do you do with a Master’s in English” bemoaning that he went back to school, went further in debt, and there’s still no jobs. He and Kate are estranged, they couldn’t quite take it “one day at a time.” He’s still looking for his purpose, because he can’t even get a job flipping burgers. He and Kate come back together towards the end with a searing song entitled “Fuck Our Parents.” You can guess what it’s about. When asked why he went back to get his master’s, he says something about two bears saying it was a good idea, featuring the “Bad Idea Bears” from the first show. Mrs. Thistletwat, Kate Monster’s old boss from when she worked in the public school, has mounted a push to put in a charter school to drive Kate’s school out of business, singing a song called “School for Sale” about for-profit education.
Conversely, Trekkie Monster and Lucy the Slut have managed to turn their lives around: Trekkie made out like a bandit, selling before the crash, and is flush with cash despite never working a day in his life. He manages to still collect welfare, as he isn’t posting any actual income. Lucy the Slut has moved on to become a famous televangelist and, as the play dawns, she’s mounting a career for the House of Representatives. Of course, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior “for about two seconds” before realizing that her story could make her embarrassing amounts of money instead. The two of them (Trekkie and Lucy) sing a duet called “Who’s Screwed Now/Who’s Screwing Themselves” a jazzy number where they wonder with smiles how they manage to be doing much better than the college educated, rule-abiding crowd.
Rod and Nicky no longer live together. Rod got married in New York (as it’s legal now) and lives with his husband. Nicky, homeless again, finds his life oddly enjoyable without real responsibilities. He sings a song about how if he’d known life could be this easy, he wouldn’t have tried so hard. He’s arrested by mistake when a movement to “Occupy Zuchinni Park” invades his home and incites police action. This renders him a felon and unable to cast the deciding vote keeping the corrupt Lucy out of office. Rod sings about how much he’s enjoying being out, but how he wishes he could still be a Republican in a song called “The Elephant Forgot.”
I don’t know what to do with Brian and Christmas Eve. I figure we could either go the horrible route, with Brian committing suicide after failed job after failed job, or perhaps they are divorced now. Or, we could go with the uplifting bit at the end where, despite all the trouble and hardship and hard living, they are still happy to have each other and be together. They could have a kid at the end whom they teach that huggy-muggy Barney the dinosaur self-esteem malarkey is basically bullshit and we can go all Tiger Mom, giving some hope for the future as the failures of the past will not be repeated in the future. I think I like the barely hopeful tone better.
I figure we can end on a song entitled “What Now?” instead of “For Now” from the original.
-Princeton’s still living with his parents, but it seems like he and Kate are on the mend… is he ready for marriage?
-Kate’s school is shut down, and her and Princeton are going to try and make it.
-Trekkie seems annoyed with people always asking him for money.
-Lucy realizes that a job in politics is 90% fundraising. Oddly, she’s a prostitute again. The Bad Idea Bears follow her, in awe of Congress.
-Rod and Ricky are picketed by anti-gay protesters. They lock themselves inside a gay bar with others.
-Nicky, a felon now, sees his options greatly limited.
-Brian and Christmas Eve sing about the world their child will inherit
And maybe they all wind up back at Gary’s grave, asking the headstone “What Now?”