Rod and the (almost) no-show roommate

Written by: Deanza Banuelos

As OpenStages 'Avenue Q' continues to gain momentum and popularity, certain characters have been highly desirable for interviews. We were lucky enough to arrange a meeting with Rod, a Republican Investment Banker, and his unemployed roommate Nicky for insight into their dynamic relationship.

It’s 12:26, and Rod nervously peers down at his watch through his glasses for the fourteenth time. “I’m sure he’ll be here soon! Just let me call him again!” Rod smiles stiffly and proceeds to the corner of the coffee shop where he begins to pace back and forth. I’m not close enough to hear the entire voicemail, but I could just make out threats, pleas, and bartering with the no-show roommate Nicky our second interviewee. After a final audible “YOU’D BETTER SHOW OR BY GOD I’LL SHOVE MORE COOKIES IN YOUR EARMUFFS!!!”, Rod calmly returns and takes a seat across from me. After a long sip of coffee, Rod offers in a measured tone “Nicky will be here soon.” Feeling a bit awkward myself, I decided to begin the interview with just Rod. Looking for my first question I survey him: Rod is well dressed, clean cut, and by the looks of it, he had ironed his pants. Rod was even fifteen minutes early to our 12 pm meet time. A stark contrast from the no-show roommate.

“So, Rod. I gather you and your roommate don't have much in common. Could you tell me how you two became roommates?” A glaze comes over his eyes as he responds “Well, just after I moved out of my mother's house my old college buddy Nicky called and said he was in town on a visit and looking for a couch to crash one for the weekend.” I raise my eyebrows in question and Rod responds, “That was 39 weekends ago.”

 At that moment the coffee shop door chimes open behind me and I see Rod stiffen as he locks gaze on something behind me. I turn and see Niki sauntering through the door towards the counter- apparently not noticing us. “NICKY!!” Rod’s voice shoots, breaking my concentration. Nicky scans the coffee shop sees us, breaks into a grin and enthusiastically waves across the shop “Awa hey Rod! You didn't tell me your Tuesday therapy sessions were in coffee shops! That’s awesome!” Confused we both glance at my clipboard, then back at Rod who is flushed and clearly agitated. Nicky turns his back to order a drink, clearly oblivious to the real intention of our meeting. Rod apologizes for the confusion and that Nicky must not have renewed his phone service....again. Excusing himself, Rod explains he must go before his lunch break ends. While Rod stands, Nicky returns with a paper bag “Leaving so soon? Awa! Well I bought you one of those blueberry scones you like since it looks like you didn't get any lunch.” He extends the bag to Rod. Shocked Rod gazes at the bag, gulps and musters a “Thank you Nicky.” and sits back down. Nicky taking this as an invitation, pulls up a chair and we begin a lively conversation about couch-surfing for the next half hour of the interview.

Be sure to catch 'Avenue Q' playing now through April 27, 2019!


Avenue Q

Book by Jeff Whitty

Music and Lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez

Directed by Sydney Parks Smith

March 30 - April 27, 2019

"Hilarious, insightful entertainment - an exuberant blast of fresh air!” Theater Review

Winner of the 2004 Tony Award “Triple Crown” (Best Score, Best Book, Best Musical) Avenue Q is part flesh, part puppet, and packed with heart. This laugh-out-loud musical tells the story of a bright-eyed college grad who goes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account.  Moving to the only place he can afford - all the way out on Avenue Q - he meets an odd assortment of offbeat friends who struggle to find jobs, dates, and an ever-elusive purpose in life. Filled with gut-busting humor, biting satire, and a delightfully catchy score, Avenue Q is likely the most irreverent musical you’ll ever see. Mature audiences only due to language and sexual humor.

Adults love AVENUE Q, but they seem a little, er, fuzzy on whether it's appropriate for kids. We'll try to clear that up. AVENUE Q can be great for teenagers because it's about real life. It may not be appropriate for young children because AVENUE Q addresses issues like sex, drinking, and surfing the web for porn. It's hard to say what exact age is right to see AVENUE Q - parents should use their discretion based on the maturity level of their children. But we promise you this - if you DO bring your teenagers to AVENUE Q, they'll think you're really cool.

Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre, 417 West Magnolia Street