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‘Avenue Q’ at Tampa’s Straz is not your kid’s puppet show

Sure, the puppets are cute, but the jokes are dirty.
From left to right, puppeteers, Ryan Sturm, Ashley Lord, Spencer Meyers and Julia Rifino, perform with their puppets during a rehearsal performance at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
From left to right, puppeteers, Ryan Sturm, Ashley Lord, Spencer Meyers and Julia Rifino, perform with their puppets during a rehearsal performance at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Sep. 19|Updated Sep. 19

On “Avenue Q” the music is lively, the puppets are cuddly and the jokes are for adults only.

The racy musical, named for the New York street where the story takes place, features actors and puppets to tell the story of a college graduate named Princeton who moves to the city with big dreams and no money and finds that nothing is as it seems. The show is not recommended for small children due to adult themes and use of profanity. Audiences can see “Avenue Q” at the Straz’s Jaeb Theater through Oct. 2.

From left to right, performers Fo'i Meleah, Chelsea Hooker, John Perez, Ryan Sturm and Spencer Meyers rehearse for the musical "Avenue Q" at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
From left to right, performers Fo'i Meleah, Chelsea Hooker, John Perez, Ryan Sturm and Spencer Meyers rehearse for the musical "Avenue Q" at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
From left , performers Ryan Sturm, Ashley Lord and Spencer Meyers rehearse for the musical "Avenue Q" at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
From left , performers Ryan Sturm, Ashley Lord and Spencer Meyers rehearse for the musical "Avenue Q" at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Two "Avenue Q" puppets wait to be used by puppeteers before the start of rehearsal at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
Two "Avenue Q" puppets wait to be used by puppeteers before the start of rehearsal at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
From left, performers Spencer Meyers, Ryan Sturm and Ashley Lord rehearse for the musical "Avenue Q" at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
From left, performers Spencer Meyers, Ryan Sturm and Ashley Lord rehearse for the musical "Avenue Q" at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
From left, performers Ashley Lord, Chelsea Hooker and Julia Rifino, rehearse for the musical "Avenue Q" at the Jaeb Theater at The Strz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
From left, performers Ashley Lord, Chelsea Hooker and Julia Rifino, rehearse for the musical "Avenue Q" at the Jaeb Theater at The Strz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Spencer Meyers, puppeteer, walks off stage with his puppet during a rehearsal performance at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
Spencer Meyers, puppeteer, walks off stage with his puppet during a rehearsal performance at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Trekkie Monster, an "Avenue Q" puppet, makes an appearance during a rehearsal performance at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
Trekkie Monster, an "Avenue Q" puppet, makes an appearance during a rehearsal performance at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Performers for "Avenue Q" meet at the stage for a mic check before they start rehearsal at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
Performers for "Avenue Q" meet at the stage for a mic check before they start rehearsal at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Julia Rifino, puppeteer, goes back to her dressing room and gets her puppet, Kate Monster, ready for the rehearsal performance at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
Julia Rifino, puppeteer, goes back to her dressing room and gets her puppet, Kate Monster, ready for the rehearsal performance at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
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From left to right, "Avenue Q" puppeteers Spencer Meyers, Ryan Sturm and Ashley Lord do a mic check and simulate puppet movements with their arms before they go to rehearsal at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa.

The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q.
From left to right, "Avenue Q" puppeteers Spencer Meyers, Ryan Sturm and Ashley Lord do a mic check and simulate puppet movements with their arms before they go to rehearsal at the Jaeb Theater at The Straz on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Tampa. The adults-only musical features actors and puppets. It tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment on Avenue Q. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
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