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Phillip Huber

Phillip Huber has loved puppetry since the age of three, when his mother first presented him with a hand puppet. His hobby continued to grow and expand until the age of fifteen when he precociously declared himself a “professional” puppeteer, creating his own marionette variety show to earn money furthering his art. College years were spent majoring in theater and doing holiday shows to help pay for school. His senior drama project was a marionette production of THE MAGIC FLUTE, produced on a double- bridge stage and involved the training of 6 puppeteers and the building of 23 marionettes.

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Upon graduation, he got a job offer from Tony Urbano to relocate to southern California and work on various theater, film and television productions, most notably, DUSTY’S TREEHOUSE, a multi-Emmy and Peabody award winning children’s program, where he performed several times during the next 8 years. Phillip also worked for brief stints with other well-known puppeteers including Bob Baker and Jim Gamble. The most exciting was working for Jim Henson on JOHN DENVER & THE MUPPETS, A CHRISTMAS TOGETHER. Phillip also dabbled as an actor in live theater productions, and it was during a production of THE BOYFRIEND when he met his partner David Alexander.

They decided to start their own company called The Huber Marionettes. This company had very humble beginnings working in shopping malls and school assemblies, but within a few years they were discovered by cruise lines and became one of the most popular cruise entertainments. Between cruise contracts they made their way into European nightclubs including Polygon in Zurich, Folie Russe in Monte Carlo and The Lido in Paris. Phillip was called to create special marionettes to perform in live theatrical productions which appeared all across the United States.

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Some of these were BUSKER ALLEY starring Tommy Tune, THAT’S CHRISTMAS starring Sandy Duncan and Darlene Love, ROAD TO HOLLYWOOD for Goodspeed Theatre, DARLING GRENADINE for the Marriott Theatre, and CHRISTMAS WITH FRIENDS AND NABORS, starring Jim Nabors at the Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu for 10 years running. Feature film work was first offered in 1999 with the creation of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, for which Phillip and David performed all the marionette sequences. More films followed, THE LEGEND OF TILLAMOOK’S GOLD in 2003, and Disney’s OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, 2013, where Phillip created the performance of China Girl using a marionette working real time on-set with the actors.

Phillip’s present-day work is centered around German variety theaters, GOP in Hannover and Hansa Theater in Hamburg where he has done 3 contracts. He has been in demand at international puppet festivals and appeared in 14 countries. The most recent project is a new musical based on the internationally famous cartoon character of Betty Boop. Phillip created a marionette of her dog, Pudgy. BOOP THE MUSICAL, was performed in Chicago in 2023 to enthusiastic audiences, and it is scheduled for a 2025 spring season Broadway opening in New York.

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