Get ready to be transported to a world of furry friends and hilarious antics, as the Henegar Center opens the Tony Award-winning musical "Avenue Q." The R-rated show, a grown-up parody of Sesame Street's familiar style, opens June 2 for a run through June 18.
But don't be fooled by the show's colorful puppets: This is not for little monsters. The material is for adults only, and it's packed with irreverent humor and more than a little profanity.
"The material doesn't hold back," said artistic director Dominic Del Brocco. "Only those with an open mind and sense of humor for controversial topics, raunchy antics and blatant satire would find this show for them."
"For those that get the humor, they will be laughing hysterically if they can not take the material too seriously," he said.
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The story takes place on a street in New York City, where a group of colorful characters, humans and puppets together, navigate the challenges of adulthood. "Avenue Q" tackles themes like love, sex and the search for purpose in life.
With a book by Jeff Whitty and music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, the creators of "The Book of Mormon," "Avenue Q" has been a hit since its premiere in 2003. The show's humor is often raunchy and politically incorrect, but it's all in good fun.
At the center of the story is Princeton, a recent college graduate who moves to Avenue Q, a fictional street in urban New York City, in search of his purpose in life. Along the way, he meets a cast of colorful characters, including his love interest Kate Monster, his quirky landlord Gary Coleman - yes, that Gary Coleman - and his best friend, a slacker named Nicky. Together, they navigate the challenges of adulthood, from finding a job to paying the bills to dealing with relationship troubles.
"Avenue Q" is known for its unique concept of using "Muppet"-like puppets alongside human actors. In a twist to Henegar's usual casting, for this production the cast is made up of the theater's staff, many of whom are performers with puppet experience from Disney and "Sesame Street Live."
Del Brocco, who also plays a role in the show, decided that with such a small cast, this would be an opportunity to showcase the staff's talents and recognize their contributions. "This was a way to thank and recognize the Henegar staff for all of their hard work, and bring our amazing season to an end," he said.
It's not just the puppets and the humor that makes "Avenue Q" so special. The show also has heart. It deals with serious issues like unemployment, racism, and sexuality, but it does so in a way that is both poignant and entertaining. The characters - puppets included - are relatable and endearing. By the end of the show, audiences will feel like they've made some new friends.
Del Brocco hopes audiences will be entertained and moved by the show's blend of humor and heart.
"We love that people are excited for this rare title," he said. "We hope that people come with an open mind and sense of humor."
If you go
Where: The Henegar Center, 625 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne
When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through June 18
Tickets: Start at $34
On the web: henegarcenter.com
Note: This show is for ages 18 and older, due to adult language, sexual situations and subject matter.
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This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Theater opening: 'Avenue Q' at Henegar Center