Pack rat puppets on stage at Clockworks!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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And you thought the Collyer Brothers were just some mentally ill hoarders. Now, they’re also great theater.

The famous pack-rat duo is the spiritual influence behind a quirky new puppet show about hoarding.

With at least four television shows dedicated to the once-obscure psychosis, it’s no surprise that even puppeteers are jumping on the bandwagon.

After all, it’s a universal concern to city apartment dwellers.

“When you see my show, there will be something that you see where you’ll gasp and say ‘I do the same thing!’ ” said Carole D’Agostino, whose one-woman, 12-puppet production, “The Hoarding Show,” runs Sept. 22-24 at the Clockworks Theatre on Columbia Street.

The show comprises three segments: a monologue overview of hoarding involving a renter facing eviction; a shadow puppet show inspired by the Collyer saga; and a satire about the positive social aspects of hoarding.

“It’s a monologue encouraging you to hoard, like, ‘What do you mean you have no space, stack and stash it in your shower, it’s not like the water works!’ ” D’Agostino said. “I’m addressing the psychology of hoarding to make it appealing to non-hoarders.”

The Collyer segment, developed with OBIE Award-winning puppeteer Paul Zaloom, details the brothers’ bizarre, 130-ton collection — so massive that it ended up killing them.

D’Agostino spent at least 150 hours creating the hoarder’s home, creating minor details like individual magazines and letters that were fit for a puppet.

“I spent a lot of time on building, designing, researching and constructi­on.” D’Agostino said, pointing out a set cluttered with flags, vases, crates, jars, bags and yarn, all scaled to the size of a puppet pack rat.

Oscar the Grouch would be right at home.

“The Hoarding Show” at the Clockworks Puppet Theatre [196 Columbia St, between Sackett and Degraw streets in Cobble Hill, (212) 614-0001], Sept. 22–Sept. 24, 8 pm. Tickets are $25. For info, visit

Updated 12:09 am, September 19, 2011
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