Paul Mesner

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

For nearly 30 years, Paul Mesner Puppets (now known as Mesner Puppet Theater) has produced puppet shows based on fairy tales and contemporary children stories, from Sleeping Beauty to The Stinky Cheese Man.  They're mostly aimed at kids, with sly humor for adults, too.

But, in the last few years at the Kansas City Fringe Festival, the puppeteers have been branching out into more risqué material  — of course, for adults. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

At a recent Paul Mesner Puppets performance of "Martha Speaks" (based on the book by by Susan Meddaugh), puppeteers Mike Horner, Erika Baker, and Finoula Emmons worked their magic behind the scenes.  Operating multiple puppets from below the stage, the three brought to life the story of a dog who let a bowl of alphabet soup go to her head.