Puppets and Participation: A “Muppet Movie” Sing-Along

Puppeteer Heather Henson brings a few joyful surprises to an Arcadia screening of the classic.

Jim Henson Legacy

Maybe we'll never know why there are so many songs about rainbows. Sigh.

But we no longer have to wonder when somebody will develop a "Rocky Horror Picture Show"-style participatory screening for "The Muppet Movie," an equally colorful also-from-the-'70s flick that deserves the talk-back treatment.

Leave it to puppet artist Heather Henson to right that oversight and create the involved sort of screening her father, Jim Henson, would have likely been tickled by, being a man who was famously tickled by much (and who so easily tickled millions of funny bones in return).

Ms. Henson'll screen "The Muppet Movie" at the Arcadia Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 16, and if you want to sing with Kermit, call out lines, dress as Sweetums or Dr. Teeth, you 100% can.

The "Rocky Horror" comparison is no stretch; Ms. Henson uses the campy cult favorite as a giddy guideline for how audiences are invited to act at her puppet-y screenings.

Oh yes, the puppets: "(P)uppetry, kiting, and shadow acting" will also play a part at the matinee screening, so not only will you see amazing puppet action on the screen, but you'll see it live, in the theater, as well.

We mean... Isn't this really how you wanted to see it, when you saw it as a kid? You wanted to be inside the film, road-tripping with Fozzie and Gonzo and Piggy? The Muppet-themed birthday party your parents threw you afterward was amazing, but probably didn't quite scratch that singing-along, puppets-in-the-house, dancing vibe you sought.

Ms. Henson, who also stages "Labyrinth" Sing-Alongs — oh please, let's have one of those around SoCal soon — says this: "Sing Alongs allow me to connect with the work of my father. I can work with my Dad's material. I can put a new spin on it but it's still his stuff, intact. And it gives me the opportunity to watch them over and over again!"

Connecting with a legendary and lovely man's work in a fresh and family-sweet way is connection of the rainbowiest variety. Inviting a bunch of people, bigs and smalls, to spend an afternoon singing and acting along is the whipped cream and cherry on top.

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