This past week was colored by many puppet events/encounters that I thought I would share. In Beacon, NY, Second Saturday celebrations center around art events all over town. The Music On The Squares events showcase live bands playing in various locations at different times of the day. This year, they incorporated local puppeteer [and writer] Peter Ullian who brought his puppets to Main Street on Saturday the 9th. Peter's puppets talked about US history. While one told some very 'creative' interpretations of history, the other tried his very best to correct the tall tales. It was a very humorous and raucous puppet performance aimed at young audiences.
On Monday, the 11th, I had the pleasure of meeting Pasha Romanowski from Project Puppet on his trip to New York. Pasha brought along fellow New York puppeteer Scott Biski as we met in front of the old Henson office on 69th Street. The Kermit prints in the sidewalk are no longer and the building was in transition with the new owners. No activity was going on and the building looked to be rather empty and without life. We walked down to FAO to peep in on the Muppet Whatnot Workshop. On the way, we did what any puppeteer/puppet builders would do, we talked puppets and puppet building. It's nice to be amongst those in the family of puppet. FAO had a few Muppet shirts in the baby-doll style along with a display of the Muppet PookaLooz plush. It's also nice to see that the kiosk continues to employ enthusiastic Muppet/puppet fans.
We headed downtown continuing our 3-man puppet conference and ended up in the fabric district doing what any 3 grown men would do - shop for fake fur! Although some of the prices seemed steep compared to what I'm use to paying online, Pasha gave a quick lesson in the quality of the fur and backing. Still, I might have to stick with the cheap stuff for now.
Thursday, the 14th, was the gala opening for the Jim Henson's Fantastic World exhibit at the Museum of The Moving Image in Queens. My friend and Richard Hunt biographer J. Max Stein scored a VIP invite and invited me along as her 'plus one'. Brian, Cheryl and Heather Henson were in attendance along with Dave Goelz puppeteering a Mayor Mike Bloomberg puppet for the opening remarks. I spied John Tartaglia in the crowd and met Tough Pigs' Joe and Ryan who bring their Muppet Vault to the Puppet Weekend I'm producing this September. I had seen the Jim Henson exhibit on its stop earlier in Massachusetts but it was fun to to revisit this inspiring collection again and see the addition of Ms. Piggy decked out in her wedding gown. The VIP group was treated to an 'Art of The Muppets' commemorative poster that looks like a promo for the original Art of The Muppets book and has a copyright of 1980 on the bottom. It measures 19 inches by 29 inches.
The 'week' ends with me auditioning acts for the September Puppet Weekend and continuing to work on putting together my own puppet shows for school assembly programs in the Fall.