A puppet-filled comedy that is for mature audiences is next up for Imagine Productions of Columbus.

"Avenue Q," which won a Tony Award for best musical when it opened on Broadway in July 2003, will be staged again by the local troupe at the Northland Performing Arts Center, 4411 Tamarack Blvd.

Performances are at 8 p.m. May 10-12 and 3 p.m. May 13.

Tickets cost $23 and are available at imaginecolumbus.org.

"Avenue Q" is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q, according to the website for the musical. There, he meets Kate, the girl next door; Rod, the Republican; Trekkie, the internet 'sexpert'; Lucy the Slut and other colorful types who help Princeton discover his purpose in life.

It will be the second time Imagine Productions has performed "Avenue Q," said Todd Holland-Falcone, artistic director and vice president of the board. The troupe performed the show six years ago.

Four of the actors in that production, including Holland-Falcone, are recreating their roles this time.

"To me, it's like the adult version of Sesame Street," Holland-Falcone said.

He said that he embraces the theme of the musical which is, "Don't take life too seriously."

Working with hand puppets, Holland-Falcone said, is special for the actors.

"It gives you freedom to be a little more out there," he said. "I would never act like I would when not with the puppet."

Michelle Winberry, who also appeared in the 2012 show, said the experience has been enjoyable.

"I think it's given me more time to reflect on her actions and behaviors," Winberry said of her character, Kate Monster. "This is a show for people who don't like musical theater because it's super funny."

Alex Lefeld, who has the lead role of Princeton, said working with the hand puppet has been intriguing.

"It really is an extension of yourself," he said.

Tim Valentine, who recently produced "Hair" on the Short North Stage, directs "Avenue Q" for Imagine Productions. He is also the music director.

Damon Barnett is the assistant director, Kristen Gloege Michels the choreographer and Melissa Herrera-Ortiz the stage manager.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1