Shakespeare shack! Puppets and Poets fest brings burgers to life • Brooklyn Paper

Shakespeare shack! Puppets and Poets fest brings burgers to life

Burger brains: The Mayor of Hamburg (who bears a striking but non-copyright-infringing resemblance to one Mayor McCheese) is one of the many puppet characters starring in the “City of Hamburgers.”
Photo by Oliver Dalzell

Mmm, the land of hamburgers!

The Bushwick Starr theater and Alphabet Arts artist collective are sandwiching marionettes and metrists together once again for their annual Puppets and Poets Festival on Dec. 6 and 7. And one of the performances in the two-day fest sounds both cheesy and saucy — and we mean that in the best kind of way. “City of Hamburgers” is a free, family-friendly show featuring anthropomorphized junk food speaking in silly rhymes. And it is the kind of story that is perfect for the medium of puppetry, one of the performers explained.

“Puppetry has that little bit of magic in it — you’re watching something inanimate come to life,” said Kirsten Kammermeyer, a puppetry teacher who lives in Flatbush. “It is very bright, it’s very colorful, the music is fun.”

The story — adapted from a children’s book by Mike Reiss, a former writer for “The Simpsons” — uses rod puppets to animate the imagination of a young boy named Jeffery, who is listening to his grandmother tell him a bedtime story about her life in Germany. Jeffrey’s grandmother is from Hamburg and his grandfather is from Frankfurt — and Kammermeyer said the story comes alive when Jeffrey’s imagination beefs up her anecdotes.

“He is imagining all of these little kids’ hamburgers running around and playing tag,” she said. “He is imagining all these frankfurters.”

The festival will also include two adult-oriented evening performances, featuring puppet plays with more mature content.

Kammermeyer said she hopes “City of Hamburgers” encourage kids to try their hand — literally — at puppetry.

“It just allows kids to express themselves because they can put their focus on something else and make that something else do what they want to do — and say what they want to say,” she said. “They can put all that creativity and the energy into this object they’re making come to life.”

“City of Hamburgers” is part of the Puppets and Poets Festival at Bushwick Starr (207 Starr St. between Irving and Wyckoff avenues in Bushwick, www.thebu‌shwic‌kstar‌r.org). Dec. 6 and 7 at 3 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle‌@cngl‌ocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.

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