REVIEWSREVIEWS BYTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

Stuffed and Unstrung – Henson Alternative


Featuring  The Miskrent Puppetsat the bank of america theatre

Produced by WestBeth Entertainment

Musical Director: Willie Etra

Co-Creator & Producer; Brian Henson

Co-Creator, Director, & Host: Patrick Bristow

At the Bank of America Theatre, Chicago

Live uncensored adult puppet show filled with raunchy comedic improvisation

I was fascinated by the artistic craft that that Brian Henson (son of Jim Henson of the Muppets), Grant Baiocco, Bill Barretta, Tyler Bunch, Leslie Carra-Rudolph, , Brian Clark, Stephanie DAbruzzo, Peggy Etra, James Godwin, Drew Massey, Ted Michaels and Allsion Mork as each creatively strutted their  master puppetry skills. This is an uncensored audience prompted  improv show that the audience seemed to love. With MC Patrick Bristow urging on both the puppeteers and asking the audience for theme ideas,  the cast nimbly grabbed a puppet from the dozens available  and quickly delivered a  funny short sketch. I was more impressed with the “how” – the methodology  behind the Henson puppet work.  How each used the video and how they played off one another was fascinating to watch.

This unpredictable and often irreverent show if not for children as the language and situations were adult humor at its raunchiest. Songs, scenes and persona were quickly invented on the fly as these terrific talents demonstrated their wit and humorous drive . They can easily make any topic or situation funny. There is something inherently funny about skilled puppetry and these folks sure know how to make us laugh. Displaying their skills in full view of the audience added wonder to the magic of puppetry. This 90 minute intermission-less show grows a tad long as the show moves along. The ending bits moved the skill level of hand puppetry to a new level.

Leave the kids home but do see this funny, clever, and amazingly skilled puppet show – it’ll make you laugh as much as amaze you for it’s art form. Hurry, the show is only in Chicago through June 17, 22012


Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: June 12, 2012

For more info checkout the Stuffed and Unstrung page at

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