Adventures of a Semi-Wild Animal Tamer

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Review of Stellaluna at the Center for Puppetry Arts

Sat, Feb 15th, 2020 at 12:09 AM

Having read the promotional materials for the Center for Puppetry Arts' newest show, Stellaluna, I decided to go down to the Center and check it out. The promise of a show making more use of the available stage space than ever before combined with the use of overt puppetry and a cast of rod puppets intrigued me to say the least.

Arriving at the Center's main stage theater for the show, I was greeted with a lush forest scene that immediately drew me into the world of the story. Bushes and trees had been carefully placed to provide places for the characters to sit and act out their parts, yet there was plenty of open space, all carpeted in a pleasant green that gives the feel grass. A pale blue backdrop across the entire back of the stage creates the appearance of a clear blue sky beyond the trees.
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Mood: cheerful

Book Review: Jim Henson: The Biography

Thu, Sep 21st, 2017 at 10:32 PM

After about a year-and-half of off-and-on reading, I recently finished Brian Jay Jones's "Jim Henson: The Biography". At 490 pages (not counting the hefty notes and bibliography sections), it's definitely not light reading, but it's by far the most in-depth biography I've ever read.

I cannot praise the quality of this book enough. I really felt like I was right there with Jim all the way through his life, from his early years in Mississippi to his youthful quest in Maryland to get into television; through his many years of advertising work and his attempts to popularize his Muppet characters and land them a weekly half-hour television show; from the early Sesame Street and Muppet Show years, through the amazing ups and downs of producing his masterpiece movies (Dark Crystal and Labyrinth), and on into his later years when he focused back on television and tried unsuccessfully to sell the Muppets to Disney just before his death. It's all in there, and with the level of detail that can only come from years of research into Jim's life.

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Mood: pensive