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Bob Baker Marionette Theater at Westwood Library (Sunday, September 10, 2023)

By September 7, 2023No Comments

MEDIA, SCHOOL, HOA, AND WESTWOOD COMMUNITY ADVISORY 

Famed Bob Baker Marionette Theater to give free performance at Westwood Library, Sunday, September 10, 2:30 p.m.: It’ll be “Something to Crow About!”

Ring the Cow Bell!

L.A.’s legendary Bob Baker Marionette Theater will make a special “traveling roadshow” appearance at the Westwood Branch Library on Sunday, September 10th at 2:30 p.m. with a free children’s puppet show, featuring their enchanting barnyard production, “Something to Crow About!”

Presented by the Friends of Westwood Library, this musical “day-on-the-farm” is one of the most iconic shows in the 60-year history of the puppet theater. It is “the Original Bob Baker Musical Spectacular.”

All hearts will sing during this special performance for kids, when Mama and Papa Goat charm, dance, enchant and delight alongside the prancing Foot Foot Bunnies, Singing Daisies, Bumble Bee, Flapper Dodo and Dapper Crow, the croaking and crooning Tap Dancing Frogs, opera-belting Clarissa Hen, sultry Yellow Cat, vacationing Mr. and Mrs. Pig, two Spooky Scarecrows, and other barnyard favorites. A perfect end-of-summer celebration, this enchanting marionette show is truly “Something to Crow About!”

Immediately after the show the expert puppeteers will host a question and answer session with audience members. They will “pull back the curtain” to expose the rolling rack of puppets and show off their beautiful and elaborate hand-crafted marionettes to all of the assembled children, parents, and others.

They will explain how the life-like puppets are created: beginning with a creative idea, to a concept sketch, to a Plaster of Paris mold or hand carved wooden object. The puppets are then sanded, painted, assembled, costumed, decorated, accessorized, and finally strung to create a fully functioning marionette.

The puppeteers will demonstrate how they pull the different strings to bring the marionettes to life — animating their hands, legs, eyes, mouth, body, and more to give the puppets their life-like movement.

As an extra special treat on a warm summer day, following the Q&A, every audience member will enjoy a frosty and delicious ice cream sundae cup (complete with a wooden spoon), exactly as it has been done after every performance at the actual Bob Baker Marionette Theater for the past 60 years.

“We are thrilled to be able to present ‘Something to Crow About!’ to our Westwood and L.A. kids, families, and other fans of this legendary puppet theater,” said Steve Sann, Program and Events Chair of the Friends of Westwood Library. He added, “I was first introduced to the Bob Baker Marionette Theater when I was a little boy, and saw this exact show, ‘Something to Crow About!’ with my friends, school mates, and family members for one of my birthdays. I never forgot it.”

Originally created in 1959 by Bob Baker and his team of talented puppeteers, “Something to Crow About!” debuted at the famed Laguna Beach Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. It is now recognized as Bob Baker’s masterpiece.

At a Bob Baker Marionette Theater performance most young audience members sit on the floor in a semicircle around the curtain, legs crisscross style, so the puppets can come right into the audience as they sing, dance, dazzle, and delight the crowd with their whimsical charms. Adults also can sit on the floor or behind the children in a row of chairs or on the side.

The New York Times wrote: “A classic Bob Baker bit has been described as ‘interactive,’ but even that is too passive a term. The puppets, controlled from above using strings, perch on children’s laps or nip playfully on an elbow.”

This marks the third time the Friends of Westwood Library have sponsored the beloved Bob Baker Marionette Theater to perform one of their famous “traveling roadshows” for the kids of Westwood and L.A. The two previous appearances by the puppet troupe, in 2015 and 2018, drew capacity crowds.

This special children’s program is free for all, with free parking in the library garage. The Friends of Westwood Library are generously underwriting the entire cost of the event.

The Westwood Library is located at 1246 Glendon Avenue. The garage and library doors will open at 2:00 p.m., one half-hour before the show. Seating is on a first-come basis, and space is limited. The Westwood Branch is normally closed on Sundays, so regular library services will not be available on September 10th, but will be available the very next day. For more information call (310) 474-1739. For ADA accommodations, call (213) 228–7430 at least 72 hours prior to the event.

“Something to Crow About!” is perfect for the entire family: a farm-full of fun, fantastical, fanciful, frolicking flora, fauna, and more. According to Head Puppeteer Alex Evans, the suggested age range for the show is 2 to 102. So gather your children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews and don’t miss this wonderful, whimsical, magical, musical celebration of “life on the farm” hosted by the Friends of Westwood Library!

About the Bob Baker Marionette Theater:

One of the true treasures of Los Angeles, the world renowned Bob Baker Marionette Theater was founded in 1963 by legendary puppeteer Bob Baker. As a five-year-old boy in 1930, Bob Baker saw his first puppet show at a Barker Bros. furniture store in Downtown Los Angeles. He was instantly inspired to learn everything he could about puppets and puppetry, and devoted his entire life to creating his own permanent professional marionette theater company in Los Angeles.

An American pioneer in the art of puppetry, Bob Baker is credited with being one of the first puppeteers who took the puppets out from behind the curtain, off the stage, and into the audience where they could interact directly with the crowd.

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater has been “pulling the strings of family fun since 1963.” It is the longest running puppet theater in the country and is celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2023. Since its founding, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater has enchanted and entertained generations of Angelenos: more than one million children, parents, grandparents, and big and little “kids at heart” of all ages.

For its first 55 years, the theater was located under a bridge on West 1st Street in Echo Park, near Downtown Los Angeles. Since 2019 the new, larger home of the Bob Baker Marionette Theater is located at 4949 York Boulevard at Avenue 50, in historic Highland Park, northeast of Downtown.

Bob Baker’s motto was: “Be Happy, Be Healthy, and Always Always…Keep a Smile on Your Face.”  For more information about the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, please visit: bobbakermarionettetheater.com.

About the Friends of Westwood Library:

The Friends of Westwood Library is the all-volunteer support group for the Westwood Branch Library, part of the Los Angeles Public Library System (LAPL), the largest public library system in the U.S.

Founded in 2004, before the Westwood Library opened in May 2005, the Friends of Westwood Library is widely recognized as one of the most active and successful Friends groups in the City of Los Angeles. Each Friends group individually supports one of the 72 branch libraries in the LAPL System, or one of the many specialized departments within the historic landmark Los Angeles Central Library.

Each year, the Friends of Westwood Library raises money at their six annual used book sales, through private grants and donations, an annual membership campaign, and other fundraising efforts.

The Friends invest the funds raised in the Westwood Library including extensive collection development and enrichment through the purchase of additional books, periodicals, the Criterion Collection of Classic and Contemporary Film DVDs, other library materials, equipment, supplies, as well as the highly popular “Hot Off the Press” program that purchases multiple copies of the latest New York Times Best Sellers every month for Westwood Branch patrons to enjoy.

Additionally, the Friends fund a “Cybernaut” computer aide who works 15 hours each week at the Westwood Library to provide computer support and training to library patrons.

The Friends also co-sponsor a highly popular monthly free Concert Series together with the non-profit Los Angeles Musical Salon, and also underwrite 12 special programs and performers each year – one every month – for children, young adults, and adults. Additionally, the Friends present various special events periodically such as performances by the Bob Baker Marionette Theater for children.

The Friends of Westwood Library is qualified as a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit corporation. All donations to the Friends are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

For more information about the Friends, or to join, donate books, make a contribution, volunteer, or support the Friends in another way, please visit: friendsofwestwoodlibrary.org. The Friends may be reached at: info@friendsofwestwodlibrary.org.

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(Note: please see accompanying flyer for additional information. Please share this information widely about this free children’s program in your school or homeowner newsletters, group chats, Social Media, and other outlets. Thank you!)