puppetry

Marlo Angell / Lawrence Arts Center

Greek mythology is considered one of the major touchstones of Western culture. And modern literature abounds with references.

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.

The Tony-award winning musical "Avenue Q" satirizes children's television programs, like "Sesame Street." But it echoes the life lessons with a subversive twist. "Avenue Q" has its Midwest premiere at the Jewish Community Center.

The mission of the Jewish Community Center is this: "To serve people of all ages in an environment of Jewish values and Jewish traditions." So, what does that have to do with "Avenue Q" - an R-rated musical with full-puppet nudity?