Betting on the appeal of puppet actors that are full of stuffing, rather than human actors who are merely full of themselves, The Ornery Theatre is mounting Cthulhu: A Puppet Play. A far cry from Muppets Take Manhattan, this mature-viewers-only, musical stage/video production is based on the slumber-disturbing works of H.P. Lovecraft, whom Stephen King (no stranger to the genre himself) generously referred to as ''the 20th century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.'' Kelly Switzer, puppet maker and Ornery co-founder (with her husband and co-author, Mike Switzer) says the couple's original adaptation of Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu is ''an homage.'' While the story is updated to the 21st century—Skype, E-mail, and Twitter all figure prominently, Switzer says — all of the characters and story-telling style are vintage Lovecraft. ''We use such Lovecraftian conventions as a mysterious object, shadowy societies and slow descent into madness,'' she says.
Feb. 14-16, 8 p.m.; Mon., Feb. 18, 8 p.m., 2013