November 03, 2010

A WestBeth Entertainment and Henson Alternative production
at Irvine Barclay Theatre
6 performances only! December 29-January 2


“It’s nearly impossible to do anything but laugh. Grade: A”
– Entertainment Weekly
Irvine Barclay Theatre presents

November 3, Irvine, CA – The Barclay proudly presents the West Coast Premiere of STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG, a live uncensored show that lets loose the perilous and provocative elements of comedic improvisation on stage with a bunch of puppets in a show produced by WestBeth Entertainment and Henson Alternative. Created by award-winning director, producer, and writer Brian Henson and actor and improvisational guru Patrick Bristow and featuring The Jim Henson Company’s renowned puppeteers, this one-of-a-kind comedy made for grown-ups is playing a limited six-show run at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Wednesday, December 29 through Sunday, January 2. Patrick Bristow serves as host for the show, and Musical Director is Willie Etra.

Tickets ranging from $38 to $75 can be purchased online at, by phone at 949-854-4646 x1 or in person at the Box Office. Box Office hours are 10:00 AM-6:00 PM M-F, Noon-4:00 PM Sat-Sun. Tickets go on sale November 5th.

STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG is a wild romp in which the skilled art of puppetry and spontaneous comedy collide. Unpredictable and irreverent, it’s never the same show twice. Expert puppeteers create twisted scenes and songs on the fly, as suggestions from the audience prompt the improvised storylines unfolding on stage. This production delivers “two shows in one” as the hilarious puppet action is projected live on large screens flanking the stage, while the puppeteers race around below – displaying their skills in full view of the audience. With live musical accompaniment and Bristow as host, STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG boasts a cast of six world-class puppeteers in an uninhibited live puppet performance, as never seen before.

The show drew rave reviews and overwhelming audience response during its NYC run. Show Business Weekly writes, “STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG offers generous doses of roaring laughter and delightful amazement. The show is smart, funny and original.” notes, “A comedy improvisation show with a twist, STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG has a wonderful and inventive cast – who also just happen to be extremely talented Henson puppeteers. The result is a first rate evening of comedy – with a program that changes from show to show.” The Telegraph (UK) adds, “These brilliant American puppeteers are seducing all they meet…the apparently effortless technical excellence is matched only by some of the quickest and wickedest humor in town.”

STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG evolved from Henson’s previous production “Puppet Up! – Uncensored,” which made its debut at the 2006 HBO Comedy Festival (Aspen, CO) and later toured the 2006 Edinburgh Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland), The 2007 Comedy Festival (Las Vegas, NV) and Australia’s Sydney Big Laugh Comedy Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (both 2007). Most recently, “Puppet Up” continued as a workshop piece in monthly performances at Avalon Hollywood. The New York engagement of STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG marked the debut of a completely revamped production featuring all new technical wizardry with original music and staging.

Brian Henson (Creator, Producer) is Chairman of The Jim Henson Company and an award-winning director, producer, writer and puppeteer. Henson served as Executive Producer on the television projects “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars” (which he also directed) and “Jim Henson’s Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story” (which he also co-wrote and directed). He directed “Battleground,” an Emmy Award-winning episode of the “Nightmares & Dreamscapes” anthology for TBS. Previoustelevision projects that Henson produced include “Farscape,” “Gulliver’s Travels,” “Muppets Tonight,” and “Dinosaurs.” Henson’s film directing credits include “The Muppet Christmas Carol” and “Muppet Treasure Island.”

Most recently, Henson has served as an executive producer of the Emmy-nominated science-readiness pre-school series “Sid the Science Kid,” airing daily on PBS KIDS®. The series features his groundbreaking work at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, one of Hollywood’s preeminent character building, digital and physical visual effects facilities. Henson was part of the team that first created and utilized the Henson Performance Control System, a powerful custom-based interface for puppeteers, which won an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Engineering Award in 1992. He also led the Shop’s work with its revolutionary digital puppeteering technology, the 2009 Emmy® Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio that is featured in STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG as well as “Sid the Science Kid” and “Wilson & Ditch: Digging America.”

STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG Co-Creator/Host Patrick Bristow is best known for his television appearances, most notably as “Peter” on the groundbreaking ABC series “Ellen.” Other small screen appearances: “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” “Mad About You,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and others. Film credits include “The Longest Yard,” “Austin Powers,” “So I Married An Ax Murderer,” “Twilight of the Golds,” and the accidental comedy “Showgirls.” He performed, directed and taught at The Groundling Theatre. Directing credits include the Off Broadway run of “Stuffed and Unstrung,” “Hot Dog TV” for The Cartoon Network, numerous theatre productions and the 2004 L.A. Weekly Theatre Awards Show. His improv company, “Improvatorium” produces costumed and improvised short plays in Hollywood. And just like everyone else, he has a first draft of a screenplay somewhere in his house.

Henson Alternative is The Jim Henson Company’s label for content created specifically and exclusively for adult audiences. Previous credits include “Tinseltown” for Logo, “Puppet Up! – Uncensored” for TBS and the upcoming feature film “Happytime Murders” currently in development.

WestBeth Entertainment, Arnold Engelman – President, is a producing/promoting organization that has successfully & consistently produced critically acclaimed, financially successful, groundbreaking entertainment for 30 years. From Eddie Izzard to Billy Connolly,John Leguizamo to Lewis Black, Wigfield to Hedwig, and The Family Guy to Tenacious D, WestBeth has been the creative catalyst, partner & producer of some of the most innovative productions in the Northern Hemisphere. Upcoming WestBeth projects include Billy Connolly’s November 2010 Canadian Tour THE MAN LIVE, Shaun Majumber Live, and John Leguizamo’s GHETTO KLOWN at the Berkeley Theatre in Toronto November 9 – 20. Recent productions include featured dates for Dylan Moran in San Francisco & LA this September, Henson Alternative’s groundbreaking Stuffed And Unstrung in NYC, Eddie Izzard’s 35 city 2008 US Tour, 2010 US Arena tour, 2010 Canadian Tour, and Lewis Black’s 2009 Canadian Tour and his recent three night stand at New York City Center.

Ongoing productions include “John Leguizamo Diary of a Madman” at the La Jolla Playhouse March 4 – 14 2010, “Billy Connolly LIVE” at the Bagley Wright Theatre at Seattle Center March 12 – 13, 2010, followed by “Lewis Black – In God We Rust” at City Center in April. Recent productions include Eddie Izzard’s January 2010 US ArenaTour – “The Big Intimacy Tour,” “An Evening Without Monty Python” directed by Eric Idle and BT McNicholl, Eddie Izzard’s sold out 34 city 2008 American Tour “STRIPPED,” as well as Billy Connolly’s “Too Old To Die Young” (North American Tour); and Lewis Black’s “Nothing Sacred” (Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall). Visit for more information.

Irvine Barclay Theatre, currently celebrating its 20th anniversary season, provides diverse and high-quality performing arts presentations for the enjoyment of southern California audiences, including the West Coast premieres of Cirque Eloize’ production of “Rain,” “Classical Savion,” the New World Flamenco Festival, and Kenneth Pai’s nine-hour production of “The Peony Pavilion.” The Barclay operates a 756-seat state-of-the-art theater venue serving a variety of Southern California arts and entertainment organizations. Since 2002, the Barclay has twice received the award for Outstanding Arts Organization from Arts Orange County.

STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG plays Wed. Dec 29 & Thurs. Dec 30 at 8:00 pm; Fri. Dec 31 at 7:00 pm & 10 pm; Saturday Jan 1 at 8:00 pm; and Sunday Jan 2 at 4:00 pm.

Tickets ranging from $38 to $75 can be purchased online at, by phone at 949- 854-4646 x1 or in person at the Box Office. Box Office hours are 10AM-6PM M-F, Noon-4PM SatSun. A small number of VIP seats with Gold Bar privileges are available. Call the box office for information. STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG is recommended for ages 16 and up.

For more information, check out Visit the show on facebook or follow on Twitter @stuffedunstrung.


Calendar Listing for

Theatre:   Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA 92612
Dates:      December 29, 2010 – January 2, 2011
Tickets:, 949-854-4646 x1 or at the Box office
Prices:     $38 – $75


Press Contacts: Tim Choy, David Barber
Davidson & Choy Publicity 323-954-7510,




The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated “Sid the Science Kid,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Wilson & Ditch: Digging America” and “Pajanimals.” Features include “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” and “Unstable Fables” and television productions include “Fraggle Rock” and the sci-fi cult series “Farscape.”

With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment. The Company’s Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour of “Stuffed and Unstrung,” a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 “Best Stage Shows of 2010” by Entertainment Weekly.
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