Three things that may make many a theater lover run for the hills:
3. Audience Participation.
If you feel otherwise, you might want to Run! Not Walk! to Stuffed and Unstrung. If you like puppets, but are lukewarm about the other two items, you might want to dawdle over there.
I am of the latter camp. I am particularly fond of puppets, both in children's entertainment and as integrated -- in a non-gratuitous manner -- into theater for adults. (See: my reviews of Avenue Q and Compulsion.) But I find that improv is often a party trick and audience participation is fun for the participant. Ticket holders should stay seated and the talent should write their own material. Stuffed and Unstrung, an adult puppet show from Henson Alternative, is not built upon these principles.
It would seem to be born of the same zeitgeist that brought us Avenue Q; our desire to titter at the incongruity of naughty and innocent. Perhaps it's particularly satisfying to see our childhood icons brought down to our flawed (or dirty-minded) level. The corruption of innocence and the tweaking of sacred cows (or frogs, monsters, pigs..) is taboo, hence irresistible. Sexed up Muppets and Barbie dolls appeal to ironic hipsters who have grown up and now know better than to believe in make believe.
And realists/nihilists love to shove sad realities down Pollyanna throats. In the Gen- X film Reality Bites, Winona Ryder asks "Why can't things just work out okay, like at the end of a Brady Bunch episode?" And realist/nihilist Ethan Hawke snarks back: "Because Mr. Brady died of AIDS."