Family Fun

A Vintage Marionette Spectacular Re-Blooms

"Something to Crow About," the first Bob Baker Marionette Theater spectacular, is frolicking again in Highland Park.

Bob Baker Marionette Theater

As late April grows late-April-ier, and more flowers open their delicate petals, and the wilder world seems to awaken, shaking off winter's chill (or, at least around Southern California, winter's coolness), many of our thoughts turn to the farm.

That could be because regional agricultural destinations are sharing snapshots of squee-inducing baby animals, and opening for tours or look-around events, and giving people the chance to pick the freshest veggies and fruits.

But our farm-fun thoughts grow even stronger when we think of a city-based bastion of animal cute-a-tude, one that's located on bustling York Boulevard in Highland Park.

It's the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and, as befits this moment of spring sweetness, a farm-y and festive new stage show is now making merry in the vintage venue.

Well, we say "new" in the sense that it will be new to plenty of the kids, and their parents, too, who plan to swing by the atmospheric theater to enjoy it. But "Something to Crow About" is quite the venerable production, the first musical spectacular ever created by the legendary puppeteer.

Mr. Baker first staged the show in 1959, meaning your grandparents and great-grandparents, when they were but tots, may have seen and smiled at the characters' adorable antics.

Those fanciful figures include "tap-dancing bullfrogs, singing scarecrows, and a precocious petunia," as well as Mama Goat, a flock of cute ducklings, and bunnies, too.

The puppets in the show "date back 70 years," upping the nostalgic factor and sense of history at the historical gem. It's a family attraction that's been entertaining Angelenos of every age for over six decades, first at the theater's long-time home near DTLA and, since 2019, in Highland Park.

(Lisa Whiteman/Bob Baker Marionette Theater)

Adding to the atmospheric farm-y charms? The colorful barnyard-inspired set and the puppeteers' pastoral costumes, which include overalls and gingham.

"'Crow About' marked Bob's transition from puppets in front of a curtain to scenic theatrical worlds," explains Executive Director, Alex Evans.

"He brought this show to life with amazing artists, such as Don Sahlin (Muppets), Morton Haack (Planet of the Apes), and  Rene Zendejas (Rene’s Marionettes)."

Something worth a cheerful chirp? This is the first time "Something to Crow About" has been presented at the theater's new Highland Park home.

"We're watching old show footage, and going through the archives to match the infrastructure and staging of the original productions. We are also refurbishing the scenery, drops, and puppets," shared Kevin Beltz, Head Puppet Builder and Technical Director.

The 50-minute musical spectacular is set to make hay, and happy memories, too, through June 26, and a ticket? It's $20 per guest, with kids 2 and under admitted free.

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