Jim Henson's Fantastic World

While Kermit and his fuzzy cohorts are recognized the world over, few know that Jim Henson (1936-1990) also had a prolific career in TV commercials and received a 1965 Oscar nomination for an experimental short film. There’s much to learn about the man behind the Muppets™ in Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, an official, company-branded touring retrospective that opens today. Original drawings, photographs, videos, Muppet Show TV episodes, and, of course, Muppets will be on display . Opening weekend events, associated with Folklife, include a presentation on the music in Henson’s work (think: “The Rainbow Connection”), a performance by the Clay Martin Puppet Theatre, and a Muppet sing-a-long in the Sky Church (Sunday at 1:30 p.m.). Kids will also appreciate the interactive “Mudgarden Experience,” designed by local puppeteer, Annett Mateo, who will also lead a sock puppet-making workshop. For older children, and not a few adults, there will be a June 16 screening of Labyrinth with local puppeteer/voice actress Karen Prell, who worked on that film—and portrayed Red Fraggle on Fraggle Rock! JENNIFER K. STULLER

Sat., May 23, 12-7 p.m.; May 24-Aug. 16, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., 2009

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