Armed with bubbles, ribboned batons, dancin’ shoes and hearts filled with song, families and friends will join musicians and “Muppeteers” as they head cross-country with Kermit and the gang for an interactive, one-of-a-kind matinee experience, “Sing Along with The Muppet Movie,” at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 3:30 p.m.
In this participatory event that is part film screening and part live performance, children and adults alike are invited to laugh, dance and sing along with the classic Muppets characters as they evoke thrills and memories on screen and stage – from singing with Kermit the Frog during “Rainbow Connection” to dancing with Fozzie Bear to “Movin’ Right Along.” The original, 1979 film, The Muppet Movie, will be shown using Harbison Theatre’s state-of-the-art screen and sound system, while Muppeteers and performers bring elements of the film to life for the audience.
The stage ensemble is made up of skilled IBEX Puppetry team members, including, on occasion, show creator Heather Henson, daughter of Muppets originator and entertainment visionary Jim Henson. Using puppetry, kiting, and shadow acting, the Muppeteers add layers of action to the event – including moments when Muppets take flight over the audience.
The audience will be encouraged to sing along when cued by the Muppets and Muppeteers, as well as blow bubbles, wave streamers, yell out famous lines, fly kites, dance in the aisles and pop confetti – making the experience interactive from start to finish.
“It’s the Rocky Horror Picture Show for children and families,” explains Katie Fox, Executive Director of Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College. “It’s so much more than the bounce-along dot at the bottom of a screen. The experience comes with its own band, as well as the Muppeteers!” Fox adds, “Each ticket to Sing Along with The Muppet Movie comes with its own goody bag, filled with bubbles, ribbons on wands and glow in the dark goodies – each of which has its own moment of use during the film, with instructions on screen.”
The immersive performance is not only multi-layered but multi-generational. It’s a nostalgic trip for Baby Boomers who grew up watching “The Muppet Show” on television and took their kids to see the original film in 1979; it’s a hoot for those same kids who now have their own children; and it’s a riot for the newest generation of kids, who only recently might have been introduced to Sesame Street.
“This is the original Muppet Movie, produced by Jim Henson,” says Fox. “The tour is produced by his daughter, Heather Henson, a well-known and highly regarded Muppeteer who produces a great deal of her own work internationally. She took this on to honor her father and feel close to him by sharing this story with new audiences.”
Show producer Heather Henson describes her own connective family experience, saying, “Sing Alongs allow me to connect with the work of my father. I can work with my Dad’s material. I can put a new spin on it, but it’s still his stuff, intact. And it gives me an opportunity to watch them over and over again!”
Guests old and young will forge or renew connections to this Academy Award-nominated, National Film Registry-listed classic movie and its gang of fuzzy Muppet friends during Harbison Theatre’s matinee event. As The Orlando Weekly notes, “The production is a hit with family-focused showings… older crowds (aka the lovers, the dreamers and me) will leave feeling a little more connected to that rainbow.”
Individual show tickets are available now at www.HarbisonTheatre.org. Buyers may also order tickets via phone at 803.407.5011, or in person at the Harbison Theatre Box Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The box office also will open two hours prior to each show in the Signature Series for purchasing tickets the day of the event.
About Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College
Rooted in the performing arts, Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College offers programs and productions that encourage reflection, examination and discovery; and that provide entertainment, education and opportunity to professionals, learners and community members in all stages of life. To learn about upcoming events, purchase tickets, or pursue sponsorship and volunteer opportunities with Harbison Theatre, please visit harbisontheatre.org.
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About Midlands Technical College
Midlands Technical College (MTC) is a comprehensive, multi-campus, public, two-year college serving Richland, Lexington and Fairfield counties of South Carolina. The fifth-largest provider of higher education in South Carolina and the largest provider of transfer students to the University of South Carolina, MTC enrolls approximately 16,000 credit students annually. The college’s Corporate and Continuing Education program, one of the largest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, annually has 25,000 enrollments and provides continuing education to hundreds of area businesses each year. midlandstech.edu