Visual artist Mark Hayward, co-founder of Sock Puppet Sitcom Theater, has found a new home for his googly-eyed cast of characters: The Echo. He’ll put on the last two puppet shows of the 2012 season at the Echo Park club, starting Saturday.
The idea behind the show, which until recently was based nearby at Atwater Crossing, is simple: handcrafted puppets perform the pilot episodes of classic hit sitcoms such as “I Love Lucy,” “Hogan's Heroes” and “Friends.” It's become so popular, says Hayward, that the Sock Puppet team needed more space and the Echo also provides top sound quality.
Hayward sees the show as a blend of art, performance and live music that is laden with nostalgia. He makes the puppets and their costumes himself; the shows are performed by experienced puppeteers, some of whom are well known voiceover artists; and there’s live music before each show, featuring songs that were popular the year that night’s sitcom debuted.
“We’re trying to turn the very high-tech world of television into something very soft and handmade and analog, if you will,” Hayward says. “It’s also a love note to those TV shows we grew up watching.”