Cattle Mutilation: The Musical
Ryan J Degan
“COWS IN PERIL! BIGFOOT BLAMED! THE TRUTH WILL SHOCK YOU!”
This ain’t no Muppet Show.
The Ashland theatrical group Puppeteers for Fears newest play, Cattle Mutilation: The Musical, is a hilarious adult horror comedy puppet show that is a must see. It features 10 original songs from playwright Josh Gross, founding member of Puppeteers for Fears, that will leave audiences in stitches.
The performance begins with Randy and his son jr., in search of whoever, or whatever, is turning their cattle inside out. Randy Sr. blames the misunderstood Bigfoot, who only wants a friend, but Jr. is dubious. A lifelong Sasquatch hunter Randy Sr. wants his son to take over the family business, but Jr. just wants to play video games and find his own path. What follows is a tale of fatherhood, friendship, and alien probing.
Cattle Mutilation will run April 1-3, and 7-9, at Oberon’s Three Penny Tavern in downtown Ashland. Friday and Saturday shows start at 8pm, and Sunday shows are all-ages matinees at 4pm. Admission to all performances is $6.
“The last play we (Puppeteers for Fears) did on Halloween was a big hit,” said Gross “We performed at Oberon’s and the place was packed…People were practically sitting on each other for space.” So best get to the show early.
While searching for Sasquatch Randy and his son come across two aliens, who are also father and son, whose mission is to abduct humans and extract a rare substance from them for a shocking reason. The aliens, Blork and Blork Jr., soon find they have more in common with Randy and his son than they originally imagined.
“The thing about puppets is their archetypal. You can tell anything through a puppet, in Africa they have puppet shows that talk about aids and wearing condoms and how important that is. They can talk about really serious things,” said SOU alumni and Cattle Mutilation’s Director, Beth Boulay, when asked why create an adult themed puppet show, “It’s a great filter for important topics like disappointing your parents (a prevalent theme throughout Cattle Mutilation)”
“They’re (puppet shows) not actually traditionally for kids, that’s something that came later through things like Sesame Street. There are a lot of really dark subject matter for puppet shows, there’s one in (Madrid) I think that got shut down by the government because it was to subversive,” added Gross.
Cattle Mutilation: The Musical was written by Josh Gross, and will be directed by Beth Boulay. It stars Austin Comfort, Eric Solis, Beth Boulay, Alyssa Mathews, and Jessica Giannino. Puppet and prop maker: Brooke Sharp-Shapiro. Music will be performed by Scott Howard and the Teenwolf Experience (Josh Gross on guitar, Will Shapiro on bass, and Mo Reno on drums).
Fans of Puppeteers for fears will undoubtedly be looking forward to their next piece Cthulhu: the Musical based off of the work of H.P. Lovecraft
Note: This is a puppet show; not a children’s show. Material is R-rated. Bring children at your own discretion.