The Southwest Florida premiere of Avenue Q by Jeff Whitty, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx opens at The Laboratory Theater of Florida on Feb. 25 and plays through March 27.
Winner of the 2004 “Triple Crown” of Tonys for Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical and featuring puppets and human actors, this is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the story of recent college graduate Princeton as he struggles to find his purpose. Though inspired by Sesame Street, these are R-Rated puppets with warnings for adult language and situations.
Director Carmen Crussard says, ”If Avenue Q were a book, it would be called Adulting for Dummies. It grapples with some very real and serious issues, like sex, racism, money, and the discovery that hey, maybe I’m not as important as my younger self thought I was. But presenting all that through puppets makes it all a little more palatable. I think this show is hilarious because we see so much of ourselves in these characters. Sure, we all deal with all kinds of problems as adults, but as long as we can still laugh at ourselves, I think we will all be okay, even if we still haven’t found our purpose.”
The cast features Steven Michael Kennedy (Princeton), Ruthgena Faraco (Kate Monster), Robert Barner (Gary Coleman), Todd Lyman (Nicky), Ken Johnson (Rod), Mark King (Trekkie Monster), Gabrielle Lansden (Lucy), Amanda Collins (Bad Idea Bear 1), Sharon True (Bad Idea Bear 2), Javen Fischer (Brian), Liz Mora (Christmas Eve) and Tracy Weaver (Mrs.T).
Music direction by Earl Sparrow.
This play contains adult language and discussions on sexual situations, drinking, and internet pornography. It is recommended for ages 13 and older.
Performance dates are Feb. 25, 26 and March 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $37 each or $15 for students with valid student IDs. There are two half-priced previews on Feb. 23 and 24, and there is a Thrifty Thursday special ticket price of $30 each for adults. Seating is socially distant and limited for safety. Masks are required to be worn when inside the theater. For tickets, guests may call the box office at 239-218-0481 or go online at www.laboratorytheaterflorida.com. If a party has four or more members that wish to sit together, they may call the box office for manual seating accommodations.
The Laboratory Theater is located at 1634 Woodford Ave. in Fort Myers.