1964, Meet 2012 - NBC Southern California

1964, Meet 2012

A vintage Bob Baker production finds new life (and strings).



    1964, Meet 2012
    Bob Baker
    Bob Baker's classic show "Fiesta" plays in 2012 starting on Saturday, Jan. 7.

    While many of us have been focusing on the year 2012 -- either by saying "can you believe it is 2012?" or "how can it be 2012?" or "serious, 2012?" or some variation on that theme -- a few creatively minded souls have been busily summoning the spirit of 1964.

    That's because a marionette show from that very year is due to get its lively revival this week, at the very theater where it originated. You're already pre-charmed, we can tell, and we are, too. Add in guitars that play themselves -- see above -- and happy songs and the name of Bob Baker and we're betting you move smoothly from pre-charmed to present-charmed. And quick.

    That's because the maestro of all that is good and marionette-marvelous is reviving "Fiesta," a production he created back when televisions sported rabbit-ear antennae and faces drawn on hands very often scored their own primetime shows or variety segments. (Kisses, Señor Wences and Johnny.)

    "Fiesta" opens at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater -- or reopens, we suppose -- on Saturday, Jan. 7.

    Fans of the one of the most famous puppeteers on the planet know to expect toe-tapping tunes and sweet marionettes swinging and swaying around each other and a downtown-close theater that still boasts plenty of dark-curtained vintage charm. We like the bright-eyed cactus marionettes pictured on the Baker site.

    General admission is $15; kids under two get in free. (Note: The site currently lists a $20 fee but a representative says it will be $15.)

    Only one question remains: Will you school the children on 1964 on the drive home? Do you remember 1964? Can you revisit a few facts about it ahead of time? C'mon. They at least need to know about Señor Wences and his hand-pal Johnny. Everyone should.

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