New ‘Clowes Off Center’ series part of 2011/12 lineup

I was expecting to see the Clowes Hall mainstage lineup this week. What I wasn't expected was that Clowes had a fringe-y surprise up its programming sleeve.

While the announced-today mainstage season looks very promising (Grammy-winning Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding, rockers Huey Lewis and the News, Luna Negra Dance Theatre with Turtle Island String Quartet, vocal group Naturally 7, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend" from the hilarious Mike Birbiglia), I'm most excited about a trio of shows under the new banner "Clowes Off Center."

What's that banner mean?

Well, for 2011/2012, that means Henson Alternative's "Stuffed and Unstrung," an adults-only show improv-based puppet show from The Jim Henson Company. (Let us not forget, folks, that the Muppets were part of the first season of "Saturday Night Live.")

It also means Street Drum Corps' "Bang!" (take a look here), which has been called a "punk rock 'Stomp'."

And it means a show by Playing for Change, featuring street musicians who were featured in the PBS documentary "Playing for Change: Peace Through Music."

More details on the schedule can be found here.

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