Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, Pyrate Puppet Rock Opera Consortium

In Association with

The Bowery Poetry Club and Michter’s Rye Whiskey



An Electro-Accordion Pyrate Puppet Sea Odyssey



The Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, NYC, May 14 – August 13, 2004


Also playing:

Tudley’s Reef: Whiz-Bang Variety Night

Every First Thursday of the Month from July 1, 2004 at 10 PM


Written and Directed by NICK JONES

Musical Director RAJA AZAR

Sound, Light and Video Design KRIS ANTON

Puppet and Set Design NICK JONES, RAJA AZAR




Raja Azar – Skeevy, Tudley, Glenn, Giraffe, accordion, synth, guitar, vocals

Nick Jones – Cpt. Clamp, Tom, Dennis, baby, Lacey, guitar, vocals

Devon Ludlow – Seagull, Old Tom, J.C., vocals

Dan Kutcher – Dagoo the Bass Player

Keith Fredrickson – Von Heiselstein the Lead Guitar Player, vocals

Tim Hoey – Drummer and Ship’s Carpenter


Nick Jones.  Photo: Dana Gramp.

So, what does one say about an event like an installment of JOLLYSHIP THE WHIZ-BANG? I experienced the fifth episode, SLEEPLESS FISHES, but I imagine the formula for one is the formula for all. What is that? Well, simply stated, it is a rock and roll show with props, a plot, and puppets! Sound like fun? Well, it is.

This is not experimental theater. This is integrated performance art. This is the kind of show that off-off-Broadway venues ought to showcase on a regular basis. This is JOLLYSHIP THE WHIZ-BANG, and it is audience and artist friendly. In Episode 5, an older man, asked to babysit, recounts his childhood as an unwitting member of a pirate ship to an unprepared baby somewhere around the year 1750, or so. The puppets represent almost all characters, human, non-human and otherwise, and act as mouthpieces for the live music.Raja Azar.  Photo: Dana Gramp.

Aboard the pirate ship Whiz-Bang, the boy, a carnival clown called Tom, the darling of the savage Captain Clamp, grows into a rebellious young teen. Responding to his captor/savior as a surrogate parent, the sad clown enters adolescence full of angst, and ready to voice his own opinions. Challenging Clamp’s animal cruelty, fighting the older man’s advances, falling in with a filmmaking mollusk named Glenn, and his crowd of underwater porn industrialists, young Tom alienates Clamp and soon finds himself in the oddest of sexual situations on and off the decks of JOLLYSHIP THE WHIZ-BANG. Quite a life for a young puppet clown!

Incorporating the impressive puppet design of Mssrs. Jones and Azar, and featuring good sets, funny songs, and a live five-piece band, the creators of JOLLYSHIP THE WHIZ-BANG elevate what could have been a simple gimmick into the realm of serious series entertainment. For pure fun, check out an episode or two. This is rock and roll. This is theater. This has puppets. What else do you need?

- Kessa De Santis -

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