'Fragile Rock' Celebrates Sadness in a Hilarious Way

Jun 8, 2015

The puppet cast of 'Fragile Rock'

For a show that was born out of very real pain, 'Fragile Rock' is a lot of fun. While dealing with a divorce and the depression that comes along with such a life-changing event, Brently Heilbron found himself wanting to give in to the urge to write depressing, self-pitying songs. And since he's a comedian at heart, he saw the humor in that urge. The image of an all-puppet emo rock band singing sad songs stuck in his head, and before he knew it, 'Fragile Rock' was born.

Since he had no background in puppetry, Heilbron sought the help of puppet maker Shaun Branigan and the felt cast of 'Fragile Rock' began to come to life. More songs were written, a story began to take shape, and the show came to life. 

Featuring a full live band fronted by a puppet cast, 'Fragile Rock' takes place in real time, as if you're watching an actual concert by the band. Since the band has a whole mess of dysfunctional relationships, they're undergoing mandatory band therapy, which happens live onstage between songs. Heilbron and the cast are having a blast performing the show; it's so much fun that Heibron recommends this behavior as a form of therapy. "I recommend everyone out there, if you're feeling sad," he says, "start your own puppet band. And that is the cure for depression."

Fragile Rock is onstage at the Institution Theater through June 13.