Fun Frights: A Sweetly Old-School Marionette Show

Bob Baker's whimsical creations summon the spookiness of the season.

Just about every trend piece of the last decade touches upon a single and singularly robust story: Halloween is now for adults as much as it is for kids, if not more so.

Costume shops tell this tale, as do the growing-ever-popular mazes, attractions, and haunted houses, those dastardly destinations that cater to more 18-and-overs than young'uns.

But there are some sweet treats that boast oodles of retro flair afoot during the fright month. Bob Baker's Marionette Theater is one such place that summons both the spirited eerieness of the witchingest weeks of the year but also makes them not-too-jolting, meaning little kids can laugh and get chills along with their older siblings and grown-ups.

Now its 53rd season, the world-renown marionette palace is set to launch Bob Baker's Halloween Hoop-De-Doo on Saturday, Oct. 5. There are "over Halloween-themed puppets" in the extravaganza, which is presented in the round. If you've never seen the downtown-close theater, that means this: The smaller guests get to sit on the floor, semi-circling the stage where the puppets play.

Yep, that's neato, and there's no other word for it.

Two promised cameos are the Purple People Eater and the Invisible Man. Will the Invisible Man's marionette strings lead to, well, air? You'll have to see.

The show's on every day but Monday through Nov. 3. And, as always, guests enjoy treats in the Party Room following a performance, a room that happens to have cool puppets hanging in the back.


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Marionettes are sometimes portrayed as being a little weird or wonderfully chilling -- picture them backed by accordion music -- but here they get to play that up, all in the fun and family-nice spirit of Halloween.

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