Charles Phoenix, Marionettes, and Cake

The history-loving entertainer calls upon the historic children's theater for an afternoon of sweetness and cake.

Remember back when you were a tot, and you were weathering a summer heat wave, how your parents told you to either A) go play in the sprinklers or B) stay inside and keep cool?

If you opted for the staying inside route, you likely read a comic book, or watched cartoons, or perhaps put on a puppet show with some mate-less socks (and plastic googly eyes, if you were lucky enough to have such treasures).

You can still find that particular kind of stay-cool fun during the upcoming heat wave, but you don't need plastic press-on eyes or socks to find it. Just look to the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, the historic children's theater near downtown Los Angeles, and funny history lover Charles Phoenix, who is hosting a special presentation at the venue.

The date? It's definitely heat wave adjacent: Sunday, July 24 at 4 o'clock in the afternoon (prime forehead glistening time).

Not only will Mr. Phoenix, who is well-known for his mid-century slide shows and books, give some background on the founded-in-1963 theater, he'll join everyone for cake and ice cream in this venue's party room after the marionette show.

Ah yes, and there shall be a show, filled with some of the quintessential characters seen by Southern California kids over the decades (and their kids, and now the kids of those kids).

A hot weekend bonus: This is a nicely sun-free spot, if you're looking to bid those intense beams adieu for an hour or two. And the ice cream will further take a bit of the heat wave's fiery sting away, before you emerge back into the early evening.

The marionettes, music, history, and memories of Mr. Baker, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 90, will make it all pretty sweet. Also sweet? Wearing something lively or even outlandish "is highly encouraged," so break out the brightest, puppet-prettiest outfit you have.

Tickets? You'll need them. Find 'em here.

Memories of SoCal summers past? They're found at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Disneyland, by the by, just marked its 61st anniversary earlier in July, a notable occasion, indeed.

But Mr. Baker's theater hails from that same era, and it still has much of its old-school charms, after-show ice cream and cake included.

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