More Muppet™ Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy

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  1. More Muppet™ Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy

Chicago can’t get enough of the Muppets! Scores of adults with warm childhood memories of Sesame Street and The Muppet Show made the Gene Siskel Film Center’s 2008 and 2009 Jim Henson retrospective screenings among the most popular of the year. From November 13 through December 15, we bring back a few of those favorites and present new programs, including: Sesame Street at 40: Milestones on the Street; Jim Henson & Friends: Inside the Sesame Street Vault; and Sing! The Music of Sesame Street.

The innovative film and puppetry work of the legendary Jim Henson (1936-1990), creator of the loveable Muppets and a host of other extraordinary characters, has for decades delighted children and grown-ups alike. In this tribute to his career we present programs ranging from Commercials & Experiments, in which the origin of the Muppet characters is apparent, to feature films including THE MUPPET MOVIE and FOLLOW THAT BIRD, to the ever-popular Christmas show EMMET OTTER’S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS & Shorts. Marvel at the scope and appeal of Henson’s work for its groundbreaking artistry, introduce a program or two to your favorite moppet, or simply indulge your nostalgia for those happy Muppet Show days.

The series opens the weekend of November 13-14 with an appearance both days by Emmy Award-winning puppeteer, actress, and voice-over performer Fran Brill, creator of signature Muppet characters including Zoe and Prairie Dawn. Brill was the first female puppeteer hired by Jim Henson for Sesame Street, and she has remained a longtime presence on the show. As a special treat, she will bring Zoe along to help host screenings of Sesame Street at 40 and Jim Henson & Friends. Zoe is also featured in THE ADVENTURES OF ELMO IN GROUCHLAND.

This series is produced by The Jim Henson Legacy and Brooklyn Academy of Music, Tour Executive Producer Irena Kovarova. MUPPET, MUPPETS, and the Muppet Characters are registered trademarks of The Muppets Studio, LLC. All rights reserved. ©The Muppets Studio LLC. JIM HENSON’s mark and logo, characters, and elements are trademarks of The Jim Henson Company. All rights reserved.

©Photography courtesy of The Jim Henson Company, The Muppets Studio, LLC, and Sesame Workshop. Sesame Street® and associated characters, trademarks and design elements are owned and licensed by Sesame Workshop. ©2010 Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.

—Barbara Scharres

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Sunday double-bill ticket prices
Buy a ticket for the 2:00 pm or 2:15 pm Jim Henson program on any Sunday in November or December and get a ticket for the second Henson program that day at this discount rate (tickets must be purchased at the same time): General Admission $7; Students $5; Children (under 16) and Members $4.
Ticket Prices

Children under 16 admitted for $5 when accompanied by adult.

Promotional Partner for this series is the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), which is currently showing the exhibition Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, on view through January 23, 2011. MSI members pay $7 admission to any screening in the Gene Siskel Film Center (GSFC) series More Muppet™ Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy with current MSI membership card. Chicago-area GSFC members pay $15 and out-of-town GSFC members pay $17 to Jim Henson’s Fantastic World with current GSFC membership card.

Jim Henson’s Fantastic World require timed-entry tickets. You may receive tickets at the MSI, however, a same day ticket without a reservation is subject to availability. To make an advance reservation, call (773) 684-1414 and provide the reservation representative with the following MOP Code: 2010274. Please note: A service fee of $3.75 per ticket will be charged for advance ticket reservations by phone.

Tickets cannot be reserved through the Museum’s online ticketing system. Discount code must be presented to purchase tickets or pick-up reserved tickets.

Not valid with any other offer or on Museum free days. No cash value and non-transferable. Not valid for parking, U-505 on-board tours, or other special exhibitions

Jim Henson’s Fantastic World has been organized by The Jim Henson Legacy and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. It is made possible by The Biography Channel with additional support from The Jane Henson Foundation and Cheryl Henson.

Adler Planetarium members and patrons and pay $7 with Adler ticket stub or current Adler membership card.

Anyone with a GSFC More Muppet Magic: Jim Henson's Legacy ticket or a GSFC membership card will receive $5 off the general admission and one theater show package at the Adler, including One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure or any other space show. Offer valid November 15-December 13, 2010.

Sesame Street at 40: Milestones on the Street

Showtimes

Sat, Nov 13th at 7:30pm
Sun, Nov 21st at 2:00pm
Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

Fran Brill and Zoe in person!

  1. Sesame Street at 40: Milestones on the Street
  1. Various dates, Various directors, USA, 81 min.

This “best-of” compilation features dozens of classic moments in the forty-year history of the show, including excerpts from the first episode, celebrity guests, and some of the best bits from Ernie and Bert, Big Bird, Snuffy, and the rest of the gang. Beta SP video.--description courtesy of the Jim Henson Legacy

Emmy Award-winning puppeteer, actress, and voice-over performer Fran Brill will host the Saturday program, accompanied by Zoe, her signature Muppet character.

A reception hosted by the Chicago Reader will follow the program.

Jim Henson & Friends: Inside the Sesame Street Vault

Showtimes

Sun, Nov 14th at 2:00pm
Sun, Nov 28th at 4:00pm
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Fran Brill and Zoe in person!

  1. Jim Henson & Friends:
  2. Inside the Sesame Street Vault
  1. Various dates, Various directors, USA, 83 min.

This super-entertaining program highlights the contributions of Jim Henson and his early Sesame Street collaborators, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Fran Brill, and Caroll Spinney. In addition to old favorites, there are some extremely rare clips from specials and guest appearances on other television programs. Beta SP video.--description courtesy of the Jim Henson Legacy

Emmy Award-winning puppeteer, actress, and voice-over performer Fran Brill will host the program on Sunday, November 14, accompanied by Zoe, her signature Muppet character.

THE ADVENTURES OF ELMO IN GROUCHLAND

Showtimes

Sun, Nov 14th at 4:30pm
Wed, Nov 17th at 6:15pm
No votes yet
  1. THE ADVENTURES OF
  2. ELMO IN GROUCHLAND
  1. 1999, Gary Halvorson, USA, 73 min.

“The Henson magic is at work.”
—Anita Gates, The New York Times

“Very much an audience-participation pic.”
—Joe Leydon, Variety

Loveable Muppet Zoe (Fran Brill) is the catalyst for this colorfully messy journey into the depths of Oscar the Grouch’s yucky garbage can when Elmo takes a dive in search of his precious blue security blanket. The stunning Queen of Trash (Vanessa Williams) notwithstanding, everyone in Grouchland is rather mean, especially the grasping, bushy-eye-browed miser Huxley (Mandy Patinkin), who whisks the blanket off to his fortress, where it will take a host of Muppets to get it back. A guilty pleasure for nostalgic grown-ups (can’t beat the sock chorus), this adventure is a delight for all ages. 35mm. (BS)

See video

FOLLOW THAT BIRD

Showtimes

Sun, Nov 21st at 3:45pm
Wed, Nov 24th at 6:15pm
Average: 5 (3 votes)
  1. FOLLOW THAT BIRD
  1. 1985, Ken Kwapis, USA/Canada, 88 min.

Home is where your friends are might be the message of this gentle but rollicking romp, as Big Bird (Caroll Spinney) takes to the road to find where he really belongs after starchy social worker Miss Finch (Sally Kellerman) strands him with the clueless Dodo clan in Oceanview, Illinois. With Miss Finch and the mercenary Sleaze Brothers in pursuit, the big guy needs help to soothe his ruffled feathers from pals including Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, Kermit, Bert and Ernie, Grover, and more. Cameos of the human sort include Paul Bartel, Sandra Bernhard, John Candy, Chevy Chase, and Waylon Jennings. 35mm. (BS)

See video

Sing! The music of Sesame Street

Showtimes

Sun, Nov 28th at 2:15pm
Wed, Dec 1st at 6:00pm
Average: 4.3 (4 votes)
  1. Sing! The music of
  2. Sesame Street
  1. Various dates, Various directors, USA, 82 min.

A joyous, sometimes hilarious and poignant salute to forty years of Sesame Street music, featuring the original show classics, parodies, and special visits from some of the music industry’s biggest names. Beta SP video.--description courtesy of the Jim Henson Legacy

Muppet History 201: More Rarities from the Henson Vault

Showtimes

Sun, Dec 5th at 2:15pm
Mon, Dec 6th at 6:00pm
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
  1. Muppet History 201:
  2. More Rarities from
  3. the Henson Vault

Jim Henson brought the Muppets to countless television variety and talk shows for several decades. Many of these appearances were live and have been lost forever, but The Jim Henson Legacy has been working to find the shows that still exist. This screening is a presentation of recently unearthed clips of Muppet television appearances and other special surprises ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s. Beta SP video--description courtesy of The Jim Henson Legacy

THE MUPPET MOVIE

Showtimes

Sun, Dec 5th at 4:00pm
Wed, Dec 8th at 6:00pm
Average: 5 (4 votes)
  1. THE MUPPET MOVIE
  1. 1979, James Frawley, USA, 97 min.

In their first foray onto the silver screen, Kermit the Frog and his Muppet cohorts Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and Miss Piggy and the gang sing their way to Hollywood, hoping to make it big. But Charles Durning’s evil Doc Hopper, a frog-leg restaurant magnate, has other plans for Kermit. Tremendously funny--as much for adults as for kids, and maybe more so--with memorable musical numbers like “Rainbow Connection” and “Moving Right Along,” plus cameos galore, including Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Richard Pryor, Orson Welles, and Bob Hope. 35mm.--description courtesy of AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center

See video

Commercials & Experiments

Showtimes

Sun, Dec 12th at 2:00pm
Mon, Dec 13th at 6:00pm
Average: 5 (1 vote)
  1. Commercials & Experiments
  1. Various dates, Jim Henson, USA, 90 min.

This program encompasses a mind-blowing collection of shorts, crazy commercials, and other rarities from the Henson vault. Highlights include: an industrial film for Wilson’s Meat that must be seen to be believed; excerpts from experimental TV programs "The Cube" and "Youth 68"; and “Time Piece,” an 8-minute masterpiece that showcases Henson’s talent for making music out of everyday sounds. Beta SP video and 35mm.-- description courtesy of The Jim Henson Legacy

Due to a scheduling conflict, the Sunday, December 12 show has been moved to 2:00 PM (from 2:15). We apologize for any inconvenience.

EMMET OTTER’S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS & Shorts

Showtimes

Sun, Dec 12th at 3:45pm
Wed, Dec 15th at 6:15pm
Average: 4.9 (10 votes)
  1. EMMET OTTER’S JUG-BAND
  2. CHRISTMAS & Shorts
  1. 1977, Jim Henson, USA, 75 min.

Get into the Christmas spirit with this heart-warming story of Ma Otter and her son, who secretly enter a talent contest to win money for each other’s Christmas presents. Their challengers turn out to be The Nightmare, the Riverbottom Gang’s rowdy hard-rock band. The lovable river animals are portrayed realistically in contrast to the typical Muppet style of puppetry. We screen Henson’s original version of EMMET OTTER’S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS, featuring Kermit (not available on DVD)! The program includes a delightful selection of highlights from other Christmas specials. Beta SP video.--description courtesy of The Jim Henson Legacy

Due to a scheduling conflict, the Sunday, December 12 show has been moved to 3:45 PM (from 4:00). We apologize for any inconvenience.