JOURNEYS OF ALL SORTS? They're major themes in the happy and complex world of the Muppets. Of course, 1979's "The Muppet Movie" was built around a joyful, head-to-Hollywood road trip, while other Muppet-based works have found the lovable creatures heading out for a high-jinks-y adventure. Of course, you can also argue that the journeys that go within play as large a role in the Muppetverse as the road trips, for the characters we love are forever discovering new ways to be a good friend, to better understand someone they just met, and to show the world a sunnier smile. That a treasure-packed exhibit devoted to...
JIM HENSON, the visionary behind the Muppets and so much more, has hit the road, also with Hollywood in its sights, makes beautiful sense, then. And in Hollywood it has arrived, or, rather, a few miles away, for The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited is now on display, through Sept. 2, 2018, at the Skirball Cultural Center. And, like the Muppets, the exhibition covered some miles in its journey west, for it first began, with pluck and can-do-a-tude, at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.
WHAT WHIMSY... may be found within the exhibit's walls, dear Muppet mavens? So many original puppets, from Kermit to Beaker to the Fraggles, and several beyond-the-Muppets artifacts, too, like scripts and storyboards for Mr. Henson's short films. Are there interactive, hands-on opportunities to make a Muppet or record video with a Muppet atop your hand? There are, hurrah. Also? There are a few magnificent "Dark Crystal" figures, and "Labyrinth" lovers, prepare to sigh over the elaborate ball costumes worn by Sarah and Jareth.
THE BUZZ IS BIG, understandably, for this summer-long show, or, rather a show that'll last through to Labor Day Sunday. So, like a Muppet eager for adventure, best plan your road trip to Los Angeles, and the Skirball Cultural Center, at once. It certainly is a sunshiny, creative-cool exhibit, if you're looking for such an experience to add some summer-style oomph to your own journey and outlook.