In honor of the Bob Baker Marionette Theater”™s 50th anniversary, the theater continues its special 50th anniversary season with the perennial holiday favorite, Bob Baker”™s Nutcracker! opening November 6 and playing through January 16, 2011. This marionette version of the ballet classic has been one of Bob”™s most requested holiday productions since it was first presented in 1965.
This is the fifth production in a special anniversary season at the theater that has featured four of the theater”™s most beloved productions: “Fiesta,” “It”™s A Musical World,” “Something To Crow About!,” and “Bob Baker”™s Halloween Hoop-De-Do”. Â This is the first time the Bob Baker Marionette Theater has ever presented this many productions in one calendar year.
Bob Baker”™s Nutcracker! utilizes recordings from the familiar to the truly eclectic, along with over 100 of Bob Baker’s exquisitely designed marionettes. Featuring every style of puppetry from marionettes to shadow puppets, this is truly a “Nutcracker” unlike any you’ve seen before. Everything from Sugarplum fairies to the Mouse King himself, Bob Baker”™s Nutcracker! is a true puppet extravaganza.
After the performance guests are invited to visit with the Puppeteers and have refreshments in the theater”™s Party Room.
The Bob Baker Marionette Theater in downtown Los Angeles is the oldest of its kind in the United States and has been entertaining children of all ages since its inception in 1960. At that time, Bob Baker and his business partner Alton Wood turned a scene shop in Los Angeles into the family entertainment landmark that it is today.
More About Bob Baker:Â Bob Baker first became interested in puppetry at the age of five, and has since become an innovator, artist, puppet master, and top-notch animator with credits in television and film. His marionettes have entertained thousands of children and adults worldwide over the years. Mr. Baker has a current inventory of over three thousand puppets, with just about everything from robots that light up, to dancing frogs, to egg laying chickens. “¨Â Bob began to learn the magic of puppetry at the early age of eight. He trained with several different local companies and put his skills to work with his first professional performance for director Mervyn Leroy. While attending Hollywood High School, Bob began manufacturing toy marionettes that sold both in Europe and the United States. Fifty of the finest department stores in the country carried his line including Bullocks Wilshire, Saks Fifth Avenue, Niemen Marcus, FAO Schwarz, and Marshall Fields.
After graduation at the age of eighteen, he began his extensive career in animation at the George Pal Studios. He began as an apprentice and soon became a head animator of “Puppetoons” a year later. After WWII, Bob served as an animation advisor at many film studios including Walt Disney. As a puppeteer his prestigious credits include the films: “A Star Is Born”, “G.I. Blues,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Escape to Witch Mountain,” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”, as well as work on countless television series and projects. Baker has performed with the likes of Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, and Angela Lansbury.”¨”¨Aside from running the theater, Baker maintains an active role in the company’s traveling shows. Bob has taken his marionettes to countless fairs, puppet festivals, and of course, birthday parties. The Bob Baker Marionettes have entertained audiences in Las Vegas, Toronto, New York, Germany, and have even performed on Navy ships and submarines.”¨”¨ Mr. Baker is the former president of the Los Angeles Puppet Guild and Governor of the Television Arts & Sciences Animation Branch and currently sits on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His dream of establishing a school began with the formation of the non-profit group “The Academy of Puppetry and Allied Arts.” Although his goal of a refurbished theater complex complete with training facilities is still a long way off, Bob hopes with the aid of civic leaders and corporate sponsors, his academy will one day be a reality.
BOB BAKER MARIONETTE THEATER
1345 West First Street, Los Angeles, 90026 Â Â “¨Â Â
Performance Schedule: Tuesdays through Fridays at 10:30am Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30pm Â Â “¨Â Â
Tickets: Children and Adults $20.00 Seniors $15.00 Children under Age 2 Free! Call the Box Office For Required Reservations
Collect tickets in Person: The Bob Baker Marionette Theater 1345 West First Street, Los Angeles, 90026 Â Â “¨Â — OR —
Online — OR —
by phone: (213) 250-9995 Â Â Â Â Â “¨Â Â
Groups: Group Rates Available Birthdays celebrated at all Performances – Special Party Rates Available Â – call (213) 250-9995 Â Â “¨Â
Report by Pauline Adamek