‘Avenue Q’ runs thru Sunday

Sabrina Kalman and Gregory Ippolito on set of the set of 'Avenue Q.' (Photo by Karen O'Donnell)

Wagner College Theatre kicks off its 2016-17 main stage season with the hilarious, Tony Award-winning musical, “Avenue Q,” with performances from Sept. 29 through Oct. 9 in the Main Hall auditorium. “Avenue Q” contains adult language, content and full puppet nudity — yes, we said puppet nudity.

Winner of the Tony “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, “Avenue Q” is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart and humor. “Avenue Q” has music and lyrics by Robert Lopez (Disney’s “Frozen”) and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty, based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, with puppets conceived and designed by Rick Lyon. Wagner’s production is using the puppets designed by original Broadway cast member Rick Lyon for the London production.

“Avenue Q” manages to be a raunchy and heartwarming comedy with a hilariously adult take on classic children’s characters. This laugh-out-loud musical tells the timeless story of a bright-eyed college grad named Princeton. When he arrives in the city with big dreams and a tiny bank account, he has to move into a shabby apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. Still, the neighbors seem nice. There, he meets Kate (the girl next door), Lucy (the slut), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the pervert), superintendent Gary Coleman (yes, that Gary Coleman) and other new friends. Together, they struggle to find jobs, dates and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

The cast of “Avenue Q” features Daniel Marconi (as Princeton/Rod), Brianna Brice (Kate Monster/Lucy), Gregory Ippolito (Nicky/Trekkie Monster), Nicholas Manna (Brian), Mari Skoultchi (Christmas Eve), Sydni Session (Gary Coleman), Eric Elson, Stephen Kallas, Sabrina Kalman, Sammy Quinn and Natalie Schaffer,

Wagner College Theatre welcomes back director Ryan Gibbs, who directed “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Carl Haan, who music directed WCT’s “Legally, Blonde: The Musical,” returns as music director. Making his choreography debut is senior Jacob Cowan ’17. Original Broadway cast member Jennifer Barnhart is puppet coach.

Wagner’s production features scenic design by Phill Hickox, costume design by Polly Kendrick, lighting design by Vicki Neal and sound design by Richard Kroth. Amanda Taylor is the production stage manager.

New this year — Performances of “Avenue Q” are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. The Wagner College Theatre box office, in Main Hall, can be contacted at (718) 390-3259 or boxoffice@wagner.edu. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 12 to 4 p.m. Single tickets are on sale now, with price ranges for children, senior and adult tickets. Wagner College students attend free with current ID.

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” is 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.