Puppet Masters

If you play with the facts a little, Buntport Theater's Tommy Lee Jones Goes to Opera Alone is based on a true story: Two members of the troupe went to the Santa Fe Opera, where they purportedly saw Tommy Lee Jones, sitting...alone. At the opera. Beyond that, it's pretty much made up, and though you might leave the show thinking you know everything there is to know about TLJ, chances are you won't, as the character on stage -- a life-sized puppet operated by three Buntporters and voiced by a fourth -- is a complete figment of their wicked, combined imaginations. Yep, just another play in the unpredictable life of Buntport Theater.

You could basically say that the play is about puppet TLJ shooting the shit, something Buntport member Evan Weissman says seems perfectly natural for the character they've, er, invented. "Something about Tommy Lee Jones just seemed to fit right," Weissman explains. "He just seemed like someone who would sit down in a diner and talk to the audience about life and love and politics...and opera." Which is exactly what happens in this puppet show that's not a puppet show. And it proves that, for a group already operating on a many-headed, all-for-one, Gestalt-like premise, there is still new mind-melding territory to be discovered.

Set a while with Tommy Lee, beginning tonight at 8 p.m. and continuing at the same time Thursdays through Saturdays through April 14 (plus a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. on April 1). Buntport is at 717 Lipan Street; for tickets, $13 to $16, call 720-946-1388 or go to www.buntport.com.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 1, 3 p.m. Starts: March 16. Continues through April 14, 2012


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