What is it about puppets that enchants us so? From Yoda to the Muppets to Lamb Chop, these colorful, soft characters steal the spotlight with their darling wit and expressive facial features. They're like cartoons we can touch — they tug at our heartstrings while puppeteers pull at their wires. The tender feelings we have for these creatures follows us into adulthood, when something inside us desperately wants to hear our favorite cloth friends cursing like sailors. No one understands this better than the members of the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry, founded in 1956. The L.A. guild is one of the largest of its type in the United States, and tours its variety show, Puppetzilla PuppetSlam, for enthusiastic crowds all over the Los Angeles area. For Halloween, they're getting naughty. Join the guild's puppet masters for a Puppetzilla PuppetSlam Halloween at the Bootleg Theater, and don't bring the kids. Not only is the show 18 and older only, but you should expect filthy language and NC-17 sexual content from the adorable mouths of marionettes, shadow puppets and ventriloquist's dummies. There also will be costume contests, film shorts and prize giveaways. Hosting the evening is Mike Larsen, who has been a comedy writer and producer for Real Time With Bill Maher and The Drew Carey Show. Proper training — with all her blue makeup and floral muumuus, The Drew Carey Show's Mimi may as well have been a live-action Muppet. Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Westlake; Tuesday, Oct. 29, 8 p.m.; $5 in advance, $10 at the door. (213) 389-3856, bootlegtheater.org.

Tue., Oct. 29, 8 p.m., 2013

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