Masters of Puppets

Imagine Motörhead’s Lemmy with a talk show. Now imagine him as a drug-addled, sex-obsessed puppet named Red Orbach who takes pleasure in humiliating his very popular musical guests between snorting lines. This is the gist of Israel’s Red Band, an unlikely hit TV show, which was based upon a street performance by three Israeli film students. According to them, Red’s group, the Puppet Folk Revival — featuring life-size puppets Lefty on melodica and Pancho on guitars — split Woodstock to teach Israelis how to ROCK. One day, they were busking on the streets of Tel Aviv in a miasma of booze and bruised egos; the next, they were on TV hobnobbing with Israel’s pop elite — even pop star Aviv Geffen has suffered the humiliation. Onstage, creators Ari Feffer, Micha Duman, and Ami Wiesel are so good at what they do it’s easy to forget that humans, not wasted puppet rockers, are cracking wise and playing real music in real time. Tonight’s set includes film clips and all manner of improvised vulgarity, as well as Puppet Folk Revival’s rootsy treatments of M.I.A., Michael Jackson, and Zeppelin. Come join Phillip, the little rat-faced drug-dealer, for a rousing sing-along of “White Rabbit.”
Fri., July 31, 9:30 p.m., 2009

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