Puppet Up! Tour Diary – March 18, 2015 – Kirk Douglas Opening Night


Puppet Up returned, once again, to the Kirk Douglas Theatre for four shows in March of 2015.  I was lucky enough to be cast in two of those four show, the opening and the closing.  As, I’m sure, you know, I love being in Puppet Up.  It’s, really, my favorite thing to do, so to say I was excited was an understatement.

Since it was opening night of the show, our call time was early because there was a little bit of tech to go through.  I never mind tech because it does give us a little chance to practice technique and our crew, and the crew of the Kirk Douglas Theatre, are fantastic, so it’s never a chore.

Once we we sure all the tech end of things was running smoothly, we broke for dinner and to get changed into out ‘puppet blacks’ for the show.  Eight o’clock rolled around and the Kirk Douglas was packed with folks ready for some puppet anarchy.  There was an empty seat or two, but the place was pretty full, especially for a Wednesday night.

The show was a big ball of fun.  The suggestions were ‘out there’ and that made it even more fun.  Right off the bat someone shouted pro-wrestling as a suggestion.  Glad I was in that scene.  Some other suggestions were a carpool in a smart car from Texas to Uzbekistan, sex toy gumball machine, and a scene that had to end with the line ‘Pull my finger.’

We did the mini puppet variety show and Colleeen’s host was as wicked as ever.  The suggestion for the first act, that Allan Trautman, Tim Blaney and myself were performing with bunnies was ‘Mid-Air Contortion’.  What followed was pretty funny with Allan, Tim and I trying to find ways to put make the puppets appear they were doing mid-air contortion.  It devolved into us basically throwing the puppets back and forth to each other.  The audience loved it.  The next act was Allan and Peggy doing Jazz Dancing and they nailed it.  It’s pretty hard to describe what they did, but those puppets were Jazz Dancing for sure!  Finally, was the Alien Barbershop.  The suggestion was Necrophilia.  My initial thought was to do a verse that rhymed ‘wife’ (of formaldehyde) with the word stiff.  But then I tried to come up with a rhyme for formaldehyde.  The result, for Necrophilia was:

I love the smell
Of formaldehyde,
Because that means,
I’m going for a ride.

I actually liked this one a little better because in my mind, it left the audience to connect the dots of what I mean meant by ‘going for a ride.’

The highlight of the night, for me, was performing I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face with Ted.  I’ve done this before but especially now, while reading Jim Henson’s biography, the piece took on a little more meaning.  And Ted and I agreed that last night’s version was probably the best we’d ever performed it.

So, a wonderful opening at the Kirk Douglas, we got a standing ovation.  I cannot wait to do the show again Saturday!

Puppet Up!


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