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PRIVATE LIVES : FAMILY : 'Unpigged' Pigs Out on Music Fun

October 02, 1994|Lynne Heffley | Lynne Heffley is a Times staff writer.

Is Miss Piggy falling for love-sick, heavy-metal wild man Ozzy Osbourne? And, what's going on between Kermie and pop diva Linda Ronstadt?

Inquiring minds--and Muppet fans--can find the answers in "kermit unpigged," a musical blast of hilarity from Jim Henson Records/BMG Kidz, a takeoff on rock music's "unplugged" craze. Miss Piggy (Frank Oz) is very much on hand.

In addition to Osbourne and Ronstadt, celeb performers on the collection of familiar pop and country hits include Lily Tomlin, George Benson, Jimmy Buffett, Vince Gill and Don Henley.

In the spirit of TV's vaudevillian, celebrity-laden "The Muppet Show," the wacky but tuneful album is both child-friendly and a clever, satiric hoot for adults.

A few highlights: Tomlin in her "Ernestine" persona as the studio receptionist: "Pardon me, but the livestock entrance is around back." Kermit and Miss Piggy summing up their relationship with a parody of the Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy." And Miss Piggy surviving a "Born to Be Wild" encounter with Osbourne--"Boy, did I open the wrong door."

Yes, Kermit (Steve Whitmire) sounds different, but his sweetness, paternal leadership and perplexity in the face of comic chaos remain true to the froggy essence of the late Jim Henson's alter ego.

* Jim Henson Records/BMG Kidz. Audiocassette: $9.98. CD: $15.98.

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