Not all puppetry is Muppetry. This was proven to mainstream audiences recently when Broadway in Houston brought in Avenue Q, but it was already well-known among local fans of underground puppeteering (all five of them), thanks to Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre. The collective of performance and visual artists is known for its off-center puppet productions, and you can see some of them at Bobbindoctrins Fourth Annual Puppet Festival.
Local playwright Lyndsay Kayser and David Barrs Box Guts is a silent production that uses music box gadgets for a man-vs.-machine plot. Chelsea Luna and Bobbindoctrin founder Joel Orr each have separate shadow puppet plays Luna explores gender and queer issues in Sealus Sideshow, and Orr discusses arguments for extinction in But They Are Weak. And Bobbindoctrin veteran Francesca Marquiss Ethel and Rasputin employs large marionettes to depict a love triangle between Ethel Merman, the evil Rasputin and a Komodo dragon this is way more bizarre than puppet-on-puppet sex scenes, folks.
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See these and other odd tales told in even odder ways at 8 p.m. today, as well as December 13 and 14, and 6 p.m. December 16. Ovations, 2536 Times Boulevard. For tickets and information, call 713-526-7434 or visit www.bobbindoctrin.org. $12.
Thu., Dec. 13, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 14, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 16, 6 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 17, 8 p.m., 2007