When something has been around for a half century, plus a half decade, or almost, on top of that, one can get a little cavalier.
Meaning this: If you started going to see Bob Baker's famous marionettes on school field trips back in the 1960s, and your kids went in the '80s, and your grandchildren are the newest fans, you can almost assume you know the whole kit and kaboodle that makes up the magical, downtown-close puppet-a-rium.
Mr. Baker's 54th season is set for its 2014 debut, on Saturday, Jan. 11, by the by, and, yep, there are likely still more things to learn about this candy-sweet, vintage-cool string palace and the gifted man who is the creative force behind it.
Like, remember in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," when the first spider-leggy alien peeks out from the spaceship? Yep, Mr. Baker created that, and loads of other film favorites, too.
He's turning 90 this year, so fingers, or, um, strings crossed that a celebration is in the works. But, until then, you can hang out with Jack Frost, The Balloon Clown, and Chili Dog and the other 100 or so puppets who prance and frolic in the wintertime season-opener "Bob Baker's Fun with Strings!"
Aside: Something we love and miss about past children's fare is how many different characters might show up on the same stage. Nowadays things are more strictly themed, but Chili Dog and The Balloon Clown, in one show? We do love a wide scope when it comes to imaginative children's offerings.
Just be sure to stay for after-show refreshments in the Party Room, another classic feature of the friendliest kid fave in all of SoCalandia.