The revolving cast of six world-class puppeteers, all hand selected by Brian Henson, are tasked with bringing to life more than 60 unruly puppets nightly, playing out outrageous scripted scenes and laugh-out-loud improv. Coming from a wide variety of backgrounds including legendary theatres and schools such as The Groundlings, these puppeteers are not only experts in the art of comedy but have also mastered the one-of-kind technique and creativity that is a Henson trademark.
"Our cast is six hilarious improv comedians who are also wildly skilled Henson puppeteers. A rare combination of talents," said Patrick Bristow, host and director of "Puppet Up! - Uncensored." "I love that I get to go out there every night and watch them amaze and delight the audience. Half my job is just to shape their delicious insanity into a great show. The other half my job is basically getting to enjoy them just like the audience."
The first set of puppeteers to grace the Las Vegas stage include:
Grant Baciocco - Grant Baciocco joined The Jim Henson Company as the creator and host of the Henson.com Podcast. In addition to performing with Henson and "Puppet Up!," his puppet credits include work with The Muppets, Nerdist and the current incarnation of "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" where he puppeteers Crow T. Robot. He is also the creator of several podcasts including The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd, The Country Bear Collector Show, Attraction Checklist and The Uncle Interloper Showand can often be seen as a ringside interviewer for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
Tyler Bunch - has been working as an actor/puppeteer in the New York City area for 22 years. In addition to performing such characters as Parris in "The Crucible," Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Pooh Bah in "The Mikado," he may also be recognized by youngsters (or the young at heart) for his performances as Pop, Treelo and Doc Hogg ("Bear in the Big Blue House"), or Grampu, Dr. Nitwhite, Winslow and Elmo's father "Louie" ("OOBI," "Between The Lions," "It's a Big, Big World," "Sesame Street"). Recently Bunch made his big screen debut in the romantic comedy "Finding Joy," and you can soon binge his work as Hugo in Henson's series for Netflix: "Julie's Greenroom."
Peggy Etra - has performed with "Puppet Up!" for the last seven years. Her travels with the "Puppet Up!" have taken her from Los Angeles to the Bonnaroo Festival to the Sydney Opera House and now Las Vegas. She is a graduate of ACT in San Francisco and The Groundlings. Her film credits include "State of Play" and "Driving Lessons." Her TV credits include "Seinfeld" and "Boston Legal." She is sleeping with the musical director. It's OK, they're married!
Ted Michaels - The career of Ted Michaels, much like his brain, is all over the place. As a puppeteer, he's performed in "No You Shut Up!" on Fusion Television, "The Muppets" on ABC, MTV's "Warren The Ape," and the 2011 GRAMMY Awards. As an improviser, Michaels is a founder of the Crazy Uncle Joe Show at The Groundlings Theater in LA, where he was a main company member. He's also starred with Eddie Izzard in his One Word Improv.As an actor, he most recently starred in the acclaimed web series, "The Guild." He's written for Mike Tyson "Mysteries" on Adult Swim and Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures on Nickelodeon. Look for the independent film he wrote and directed, "Tangoborn Menclenty," at a 2016/2017 film festival near you. Given all that, he'd really love to be a reclusive novelist somewhere in southeast Asia, which he is also working on.
Michael Oosterom - Stage credits include the American Conservatory Theater, The California Shakespeare Festival, The Wilma Theater, The San Francisco Mime Troupe and the national tour of Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile." He can be seen in the improvised political feature film "Janeane From Des Moines" and the award-winning short "Comedy Jam!" Puppetry credits include "The Muppets," the new "Sigmund And The Sea Monsters," "No YOU Shut Up!," Jim Henson's "Creature Shop Challenge," "Where The Wild Things Are," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "Pushing Daisies," "A.N.T. Farm" and the GRAMMY Awards. He is an alumnus of The Groundlings Sunday Company.
Colleen Smith is a Groundlings Sunday Company alum and teaches there. Her television credits include "The Office," "How I Met Your Mother," "Selfie," "Neighbors," "King of the Hill" and "The Showbiz Show with David Spade." She is the co-director and star of "Teen Witch the Musical!," a staged version of the 80s cult classic, and of "The Smith Brown Project," a two woman show which ran at The Comedy Central Stage, UCB and The Groundlings. Most recently she wrote, directed and starred in "The Naut" a post apocalyptic grindhouse parody. She created and co-hosts a podcast called My First Time. She also works for the Jim Henson Co. as a puppeteer/improvisor on "No, You Shut Up!" She has been with "Puppet Up!" for years and has performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York (Drama Desk Award Nominee) the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Australia and now Las Vegas.
Tickets, on sale now, may be purchased at any box office at The Venetian or The Palazzo, online at Ticketmaster.com or Venetian.com/Puppet-Up or by calling (702) 414-9000 or (866) 641-7469. For groups of 10 or more, please call (866) 633-0195 or (702) 785-5394.
For more information about "Puppet Up! - Uncensored" please visit www.puppetup.com.