Dying puppets are funny

Despite my general aversion to musicals, I’m can’t wait to see Avenue Q this week, a show billed as Sesame Street for adults. I love the Street, and while my age may fall slightly out of their demographic, I admit to pausing on PBS if Grover appears while I’m eating breakfast. The guy is funny. But I’m particularly looking forward to a puppet show that allows for themes a bit too risque for public television. The fact that the characters are struggling puppets in NYC—one struggling with the fact that he’s gay—is enough to crack me up; add some songs with raunchy rhymes and we’re good to go. Adults deserve good puppetry as much as the second grade set.

Filling the void left by Jim Henson, The Old Trout Puppet Workshop is an amazing troupe out of Calgary that put on the best show I saw last year. The title, “Famous Puppet Death Scenes,” gives you an inkling as to the ridiculousness of a typical production. It’s a credit to the creativeness of these fellows and a tongue-in-cheek program detailing the “history” of the production that I actually thought the two dozen or so vignettes were culled from the greatest puppet shows ever. I’m kind of a sucker. Each scene was its own little puppet microcosm and each puppet, exquisitely crafted. And because each piece features a puppet dying, whether they’re killed by fate itself or hang themselves or die at the felted hand of another, it’s frankly hysterical.

And…I just heard that Canadian indie singer Feist (of the 1…2…3…4 fame) will feature the Old Trouts in her next music video, which promises lots of quirk.


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