Before the late, great Jim Henson was an empire, he was a person. A comic, in a sense. One who worked late-night TV spots on The Ed Sullivan Show and Saturday Night Live, riffing on anything that would make people laugh, without regard for demographics and ideas of parental guidance. “He was always doing puppetry for adults,” says son and now Jim Henson Co. producer Brian Henson. “Not exclusively adults, but that was his approach. So when he did Sesame Street, I think one reason why everyone loved it is because those are very sophisticated characters, and sometimes they’re being quite wry in a very adult way, and sort of naughty.”
Jim Henson’s Muppets would eventually go on to become one of the strongest forces in youth entertainment, capturing the imaginations of multiple generations of American kids, and the tradition continues today. The ninth feature Muppets film — starring Jason Segel — hits theaters nationwide this fall, and beginning Thursday, local audiences will be able to see the Muppets in their raunchier form, in the spirit of Jim Henson’s original puppeteer ideology, as son Brian, along with SF Sketchfest, brings his show Muppets: Stuffed and Unstrung to the Curran Theatre this week. Henson recently took a moment to chat about the project and how it fits into the Muppet canon.
Paul Simon's on the road again with his first new record in five years, and he's just added a few dates to his spring tour (his shows at Davies and The Fox are already sold-out). You may know him best as half of the Simon and Garfunkel duo, but don't expect a show of "Mrs. Robinson," "Cecilia," and "Scarborough Fair." For this tour, the legendary folk artist plans to play from the forthcoming So Beautiful or So What (out April 12) as well as songs that he's seldom performed live. Tickets for this intimate show at the Fillmore
Nobody's family is precisely normal, but when you throw serious chemical imbalance into the usual crock pot of love and dysfunction, you get mayhem in the kitchen. When a bipolar mother flushes her meds down the toilet, her family falls into complete (though musically harmonious) disarray. From the director of Rent, Next to Normal is a Broadway smash that hits home with anyone who’s ever been prescribed antidepressants, from low-dose mood adjusters to high octane pill regimens. Or anyone who’s ever gone through their parents’ medicine cabinet in search of something to numb the pain.