Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pulling Strings

Two unusual and potent puppet shows currently playing in Seattle, from two of the last great puppeteers still creating work in this town.

Bloody Henry is Brian Kooser's gorgeous and gory take on the life and wives of King Henry VIII. Billed as a "hysterically accurate" puppet show about history's favorite misogynist mass murdering monarch, the design of the entire show is extraordinary, the puppets are exquisite, and the story is alternately uproarious and stomach churning. At Seattle University's Lee Center for the Arts through Oct 24.

Playwright Scot Auguston, in his perennial guise of "Sgt. Rigsby," is leading his troupe of voice actors through another riotous adventure of "Sgt. Rigsby's Amazing Silhouettes." For more than 10 years, Auguston and his remarkably consistent crew have come together periodically to create dementedly clever shadow puppet shows. The latest show, "Teensploitation," is a brave and bawdy coming-of-age story described as a unhealthy mixture of Judy Blume and R. Crumb, featuring new tingly feelings, horrifying physical changes and a singing chicken. At Theater Off Jackson until October 31.

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