Remember watching puppetry as a kid? And remember how irresistible and compelling those lumps of cloth and foam could be? Many of us have fond memories of watching puppet shows as kids—whether at birthday parties, street festivals, or on TV. And though puppeteers like Jim Henson and Shari Lewis made puppetry in this country seem like it’s only for kids, elsewhere in the world, adults enjoy the magic and whimsy of puppets just as frequently. After all, who says that furry monsters can only entertain if they’re teaching the A-B-C’s? Grover would probably do a fine job at some of Hamlet’s soliloquies, given the opportunity. And while that exact act won’t be on the program this weekend, Puppet Pandemic does offer a raucous evening of puppetry for adults—a fun change of pace from Black Cherry’s usually kid-friendly fare.
Puppet Pandemic will feature short puppetry pieces from local Baltimore artists, as well as some from afar. Recently added to the bill: David Syrotiak of the National Marionette Theatre in Pennsylvania. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? In fact, many of the performers this weekend are fresh from the National Puppetry Conference, which is the country’s hottest puppet laboratory—continually pushing the boundaries of the medium and expanding the idea of what puppetry can mean. While that may sound a bit heady, just remember: it’s still just puppets we’re talking about here. And no matter how “adult” the material may get, you just can’t take the old-fashioned fun out of some socks with googly-eyes.
Puppet Pandemic takes place Saturday, September 21. There will be shows at 7pm and 9:30pm at Black Cherry Puppet Theater, 1115 Hollins St. in Baltimore. Tickets are $10. For more information, or to reserve tickets, visit www.blackcherry.org.
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