My journey creating and producing puppetry... trials, tribulations, inspiration and contemplation.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fantastic Puppets

Wednesday, June 16, I took a day trip to Lexington, MA to the National Heritage Museum to catch the Jim Henson's Fantastic World Exhibit before it's final bow on the East coast at the end of this month. I had heard some casual fans say that they had wished there were more puppets in the exhibit but, if you are a true fan of Henson or just a fan of the artistic process, this exhibit had plenty to make you happy. When I first walked in and saw a 1970s full-bodied Kermit sitting in a display case, the 10 year old in me just stared and wanted to say hello to my old friend. It was wonderful to connect to that youthful awe again. The exhibit was dotted with gems such as Jim's original concept drawings and college-age poster designs. As a creative person, I could appreciate what a well-rounded artist and how amazingly talented this man was.

The old commercials played on loop in one room including this great Ideal Toys commercial from 1966 that featured some of the irreverent humor from the Muppets that we all came to know and love. As a puppet builder, it was wonderful to finally see to some of the great Muppet creations and study their design up close. I don't want to give everything away but, suffice it to say, it's something every Muppet fan should try to see. So far, the last booked leg of the tour is 10/30/10 - 1/23/11 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. If you haven't seen it yet, I would highly recommend it.

Thursday, the 24th, I found myself in Brooklyn, NY taking in St Anne's Warehouse Labapalooza which featured 4 snippets from developing puppet artists. The artistry was inspiring and Lone Wolf Tribe's Hobo Grunt Cycle was phenomenal to say the least. Kevin Augustine weaved a beautiful narration with very little dialogue. The images were hauntingly beautiful and the theme of life, death and rebirth was captivating.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Rainbow Connection: Richard Hunt, Gay Muppeteer

I'm very excited to be producing this event in July.

The Rainbow Connection: Richard Hunt, Gay Muppeteer, a presentation by author Jessica Max Stein, will be held Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 2pm at the Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, 12 Vassar Street, Poughkeepsie, NY.

Richard Hunt joined the Muppets at age 19 and went on to be a central performer on the international blockbusters Sesame Street, The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock, creating such beloved characters as Scooter, Janice, Beaker and Statler (in the Muppet balcony), even briefly performing Miss Piggy in her early drag queen days. Hunt died of AIDS-related complications in 1992, only 40 years old.

Author Jessica Max Stein is working on a biography of Hunt, based on her best-selling zine The Rainbow Connection: Richard Hunt, Gay Muppeteer. Her 2-hour presentation includes over an hour of Muppet clips interspersed with details of Hunt's fascinating story as a Muppeteer who happened to be a gay man. She teaches English at the City University of New York, and lives in Brooklyn.

Zines will be available for sale at the event. (See for details.)

Tickets are $5, cash at box office/day of show. Reservations suggested, seating is limited. Call 917 502 4098 or email Event info: