It’s been several years since the Broadway smash hit “Avenue Q” graced the stage at Wynn Las Vegas with it’s off-beat puppet show. The show attracted loyal followers but didn’t gain popular momentum with Las Vegas crowds. Now, the Venetian Resort & Casino is going all out with it’s own brand of adult-only puppetry.
After performing to sold-out crowds throughout the country, the original and unruly comedy production “Puppet Up! – Uncensored” will debut this spring at the Venetian’s Sands Showroom. Created by award-winning director, producer, and writer Brian Henson and actor, director, and improvisational guru Patrick Bristow, the Venetian’s new show combines spontaneous off-the-cuff comedy and outrageous scripted story lines with the unmatched talent and creativity of Henson puppeteers.
“Going back to the earliest appearances on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ ‘The Tonight Show’ and many others, the Henson style of puppetry has always involved improvisation,” said creator and producer, Brian Henson, “It was quite often true that the funniest moments on set happened after the director yelled ‘cut,’ which is one of the reasons I was inspired to create the show.”
The production is unpredictable and irreverent, making each show unique. With six expert puppeteers utilizing more than 60 different puppets, all working together to bring to life twisted scenes and songs on the fly, the crowd steers the improvised narrative unfolding on stage. Audiences are able and encouraged to interact with the show, shaping the storyline nightly while adding energy and humor, rather than simply watching.
The production’s originality extends beyond the content of each performance into how the show is seen by each audience member. Delivering two-shows-in-one, audiences will view the hilarious action projected live on large screens flanking the stage while simultaneously peeking behind the curtain to witness the iconic Henson style. Live musical accompaniment will add to the performance. Patrick Bristow acts as host, crafting the chaos on a nightly basis. In addition, the masterful “Puppet Up!” puppeteers will also treat the theatre to resurrected classics and instantly-recognizable pieces originally created by Jim Henson, Jane Henson, and Frank Oz that haven’t been seen by live audiences in decades.
“We are incredibly excited to bring this dynamic and hilarious show to Las Vegas audiences,” said Vincent Marini, creative director and executive producer for BASE Entertainment. “The combination of artistry and comedy on display in Puppet Up! – Uncensored is unlike anything that has ever played on the Las Vegas Strip. It has been a truly incredible experience working with the immensely talented artists at the Henson Company to produce this no holds barred, tour de force comedy at one of Las Vegas’s most iconic resorts.”
‘Puppet Up! – Uncensored’ was developed by Henson Alternative Productions, an arm of the Jim Henson Company. The company’s previous credits include “Tinseltown” for the Logo Television Network and the upcoming feature film “Happytime Murders”, currently in development. The resident show debuting this spring, which will include added elements specifically designed for Las Vegas, is being produced by BASE Entertainment and co-produced by SPI Entertainment.