Thursday, June 26, 2014
Photo Essay: Fiesta! at Bob Baker Marionette Theater
"This is my first time!" said the little boy next to me, sitting on his mother's lap. Actually, she said, he'd been there once before with his father, but he was too young to remember.
"Is this your first time here?" the little boy's mother asked me.
"Oh, no – I come here all the time," I said, without even the slightest hint of apology or self-deprecation.
After all, I hadn't seen this particular show yet. And Bob has got so many marionettes in storage that rotate through the various shows, I was sure I hadn't seen all of them yet.
This summer's themed show is Fiesta, which manages to take all the old fashioned whimsy and slight creepiness of the other shows and put a spicy Latin spin on them.
You can shake your maracas as the puppets do the cha cha...
...coyly lifting skirts like tiny Carmen Mirandas.
As the puppeteers warn you, something might sit on your lap or poke you (because who knows what they'll do – they're puppets!).
There's a too-kissy donkey who gives wet kisses...
...and the boy whose sombrero gift from Santa Claus is too big...
...and some nibbly, snuggly ostriches.
The show wouldn't be complete without a set by some mariachis...
...and, of course, a Mexican hat dance.
The show just opened this past weekend, but there's always the threat of losing this LA cultural institution – the feeling that this historic theater might close or get demolished or be developed or something at any time, without warning.
So get your tickets now and soak it all up while you can.
And don't let your first time be your last.
Photo Essay: Behind the Scenes at Bob Baker Marionette Theater