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November 4, 2011 | By Sheri Linden
Kevin Clash wasn't the first puppeteer behind "Sesame Street" character Elmo, but he's the one who gave the shaggy red Muppet a falsetto voice and the personality of a sweet toddler — and thus created a superstar for the preschool set. "Being Elmo" is a documentary as gentle as its subject: the story of a boy who realized his dream and, on the film's evidence, received a lot of encouragement and support along the way. That's not to diminish his...
November 1, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans are being “led like puppets by Grover Norquist,” the anti-tax activist and keeper of a pledge that binds nearly all Republican lawmakers to a promise not to raise taxes. Reid made the remark to reporters Tuesday as he complained about Republicans' refusal to raise taxes to pay for the president's jobs bill or to lower the deficit. As the fight over the deficit intensifies, and a deadline for a super committee deal nears, Norquist has increasingly become a punching bag on Capitol Hill.
October 30, 2011 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
A curious thing happens when a child meets Kevin Clash. Although he's 6 feet tall and speaks in a gravelly baritone, he all but disappears. "I'm just somebody carrying around their friend," said Clash, 51, who for the last 26 years has been an anonymous superstar as the voice and soul of "Sesame Street's" Elmo. "If the child loves the character, they keep their imagination. " Clash is the subject of "Being Elmo," a documentary opening in Los Angeles on Friday that charts his journey from a bashful Baltimore adolescent sewing puppets out of slippers and coat linings to protégé of Muppets creator Jim Henson, and eventually "Sesame Street's" premier puppeteer.
September 16, 2011 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
One of Russia's wealthiest men on Thursday abruptly quit as leader of a party casting itself as a challenger to the Kremlin's stranglehold on politics, suggesting to supporters that a feared power broker had orchestrated a takeover because the party was becoming too independent. The decision several months ago by Mikhail Prokhorov, a businessman who owns the New Jersey Nets basketball team, to try to revive the moribund Right Cause party had been controversial from the start. Prokhorov has decried the lack of alternatives to the governing party.
May 8, 2011 | By Cristy Lytal, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The new film "The Beaver" stars Mel Gibson as a mentally ill man who begins to speak through a battered hand puppet that he retrieves from a dumpster in a moment of despair. Although the controversial star made a point to puppeteer the beaver himself, on the set, puppet wrangler Anney McKilligan Ozar was tasked with grooming the creature's fur and even brushing its prominent teeth. "I had to keep his teeth nice and shiny because things wear down," she said. On an average day on the job, McKilligan Ozar said she needs "everything from 18 different sizes of needles to 18 different sizes of drill bits.
April 12, 2011 | By Patrick Pacheco, Special to the Los Angeles Times
At a recent preview, the star trotting the stage of Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater had a command that was palpable. The audience seemed to watch his every victory with cries of delight, and shouts of dismay at his peril. Not a bad bit of scene-stealing, especially since the performer in question has no lines and is, in fact, made of leather, wire and cane. Even so, Joey, the life-size horse puppet at the center of the play "War Horse," has the power to eclipse anything — and anybody — on the stage.
December 30, 2010 | By Daniel Siegal, Los Angeles Times
Parents with younger kids: New Year's Eve in the club is back on ? and it doesn't mean a puppet show! Ushering in 2011 on a wave of laughs, husband and wife team Bob and Naomi Odenkirk, fixtures in the L.A. comedy scene, are putting on their second annual "Not Inappropriate Show," and it promises to be a sophisticated yet silly mix of humor for adults and kids alike. Playing Friday and Sunday at the edgy Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hollywood, the "Not Inappropriate Show" brings together some of L.A.'s best funnymen (and women)
December 29, 2010 | By Daina Beth Solomon, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Warning to all nostalgic "Sesame Street" fans: The puppets in "Stuffed and Unstrung" are not the Muppets. They do hail from Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and they do exude childlike charm. An orange-haired girl with spongy purple skin accessorizes her tweed suit with pearls. Another, whose bright yellow nose sticks out 5 inches, wears blue hair tied in pigtails. And a rock-star gorilla sports sunglasses, studded bracelets and hoop earrings. But this cast of 80 puppets doesn't work from a script.
October 5, 2010
Van Snowden Puppeteer for 'Pufnstuf,' 'Pee-wee's Playhouse Van Snowden, 71, who inhabited the costumed character H.R. Pufnstuf in the 1970 film and was the lead puppeteer on "Pee-wee's Playhouse" on television, died of cancer Sept. 22 at a Burbank hospital, said a spokesman for producers Sid and Marty Krofft. After donning the dragon suit for "H.R. Pufnstuf," produced by the Krofft brothers, Snowden worked with them on projects that included the 1970s TV series "The Bugaloos" and " Land of the Lost.
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