Despite their ubiquity, the Jim Henson company maintains an air of secrecy, rarely inviting the public into its studios to see how the magic — and magical puppets — are made. But for the first time ever, the company is opening their historic studio in Hollywood for a production of the critically-acclaimed show Puppet Up! – Uncensored on Saturday, March 11.
In a Q & A with Forbes Brian Henson, the son of Jim, compared the one-night-only event to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory because the studio has never opened for a public performance, and oddly enough you can’t get in through the gate. No word on if there will be fizzy lifting drinks.
The show, now in its 10th year, was co-created with actor/director Patrick Bristow, whose credits include Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Ellen. Originally it was a training ground for new puppeteers. But since then the largely improvised, adults-oriented production has ballooned into a hit underground show that features upwards of 85 puppets. They’re not exactly muppets, but they are better than you colleague’s level 3 improv class.
If you don’t find yourself in Hollywood this weekend, don’t worry. There’s more Henson goodness where this came from. Brian Henson working on the R-rated flick Happytime Murders, a movie he’s spent over 5 years developing with a script that’s been blacklisted twice. But if you want something you can share with your kid, stay tuned for the HD version of Fraggle Rock coming soon to HBO. And if you are on the west coast, get your tickets to Puppet Up! – Uncensored here. Good luck figuring out how to get in.