REVIEW: Bob Baker's "HaLLoWe'eN SpoOktAcUlAr"

October 14, 2018

HOLA 18.10.14 Bob Baker 01.jpg
 
 

REVIEW: Bob Baker's "HaLLoWe'eN SpoOktAcUlAr"

For nearly six decades, the historic Bob Baker Marionette Theater (@bobbakermarionettes) has been hosting shows every weekend, entertaining children and adults alike with magnificent puppet plays. Founded in 1963 by Bob Baker and Alton Wood, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater is the oldest children’s theater company in Los Angeles. Bob Baker crafted a particular carnival style of puppetry, creating his own vision of children's theater which offers interactive engagement and timeless stories to inspire and delight, all topped off with ice cream treats after each show. After Bob left this earth in 2014 for the great puppet show in the sky, the incredibly talented puppeteers who trained under him have kept his name and creations alive through the very same shows created by Baker himself. And this year, like the many Octobers before, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater presents “HaLLoWe'eN SpoOktAcUlAr”.


The Spooktacular is a 45 minute show which includes various Halloween themed marionettes from Bob’s career who come out and perform to vintage soundtracks accented by sci-fi and spooky themes. The marionette performances are a wonderful montage of everything Halloween, including trick or treating children, aliens, blacklight skeletons, the invisible man, a saucy black cat, Dracula, and more. The choreography between the puppeteers and sound and lighting is astounding and transforms the room, proving without a doubt that puppetry is among the highest art forms and as thrilling as any other live entertainment.


The Bob Baker Marionette Theater feels frozen in time as you are immersed in an environment which hasn’t changed much since 1963.  Most of the workings of the theater were assembled by Bob himself, and the audio, lights, and stage rigging include most of the original technology from the 1960s. This era of entertainment is a rare treat and it’s bittersweet to enjoy the Spooktacular with the knowledge of what’s coming. Los Angeles is experiencing an increasing crisis as historic spaces continue to be torn down by wealthy investors, and it is therefore crucial to be aware of the the cultural treasures this city offers and support them while they are still here. The Bob Baker Marionette Theater is now being forced out of the building it has lived in for 55 years in order to make way for luxury condos. There are still tickets for the HaLLoWe'eN SpoOktAcUlAr, and in November there will be a series of performances which will include the Bob Baker troupe’s most popular routines dating back to when the theater first opened in 1963. After the theater’s final performance, the Bob Baker family will be looking for a new home. In the meantime, they will be performing at the Pasadena Playhouse with their seasonal offering of the Nutcracker.


The Bob Baker Marionette Theater is a permanent part of the heart of Los Angeles. We need a space in which children are valued and encouraged to be themselves. We need a space in which adults inspire the imagination and ambitions of children through artistry and entertainment. We need a space in which dreams are made and the world becomes a better place. We need the Bob Bob Marionette Theater.


VC

October 14, 2018

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