Spectacular vintage puppet blooms again – NBC Los Angeles
As late April sprouts in late April, and more flowers open their delicate petals, and the wilder world seems to be awakening, shaking off the winter chill (or, at least around California du South, the chill of winter), many of our thoughts turn to the farm.
This could be because regional farming destinations are sharing snaps of squee-inducing baby animals, and opening discovery tours or events, and giving people the chance to pick the freshest vegetables and fruits.
But our thoughts of farm fun get even stronger when we think of an urban bastion of cute animals, located on bustling York Boulevard in Highland Park.
It’s the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and as befits this sweet spring time, a new, rustic, festive show is now partying in the vintage room.
Well, we say “new” in the sense that it will be new for many children, and their parents too, who plan to go through the atmospheric theater to enjoy it. But “Something to Crow About” is a thoroughly venerable production, the first musical spectacle ever created by the legendary puppeteer.
Mr. Baker first staged the show in 1959, which means your grandparents and great-grandparents, when they were just toddlers, may have seen and smiled before the adorable antics of the characters.
These whimsical characters include “tap-dancing bullfrogs, singing scarecrows, and an early petunia,” as well as Mama Goat, a flock of cute ducklings, and bunnies, too.
The puppets in the show “go back 70 years”, adding to the nostalgic factor and sense of history in this historical gem. It’s a family attraction that has entertained Angelenos of all ages for more than six decades, first at the theater’s longtime home near DTLA and, since 2019, in Highland Park.
Add to the atmospheric charms of the farmhouse? The colorful barnyard-inspired decor and the puppeteers’ pastoral costumes, which include overalls and gingham.
“‘Crow About’ marked Bob’s transition from puppets in front of a curtain to theatrical stage worlds,” says Executive Director, Alex Evans.
“He brought this show to life with incredible artists, such as Don Sahlin (Muppets), Morton Haack (Planet of the Apes) and Rene Zendejas (Rene’s Marionettes).”
Something worth a cheerful tweet? This is the first time “Something to Crow About” has been performed at the theater’s new home in Highland Park.
“We look at old show footage and scour the archives to match the infrastructure and staging of the original productions. We also refurbish sets, offcuts and puppets,” explained Kevin Beltz, head of puppet builder and technical director.
The 50-minute musical show should make hay, and good memories too, until June 26, and a ticket? It’s $20 per person, with kids 2 and under admitted free.