Bob Baker Marionette Theater Celebrates 53rd Season with SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT Today
The Bob Baker Marionette Theater celebrates its 53rd season with an open-ended run of the perennial puppet favorite "Something To Crow About" beginning performances today, February 2, 2013.Come join Mama and Papa Goat and 100 more of the world famous Bob Baker Marionettes for a musical "Day on The Farm" you will never forget. Everything from dancing scarecrows to tap dancing bullfrogs warbling "Shine On Harvest Moon", "Something To Crow About" is guaranteed to put a smile on children of all ages!
The production, which first opened at the Laguna Arts Festival 60 years ago, utilizes recordings from the familiar to the truly eclectic, and features puppet representations of every animal on The Farm (along with dancing fireflies and even waltzing laundry!) This was the first production to utilize Bob Baker's now famous "in the round' style of puppetry.
"Something To Crow About" is an hour-long production. After the performance, guests are invited to visit with the Puppeteers and have refreshments in the famous 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.
The theater has an inventory of nearly three thousand puppets with just about everything from robots that light up, to dancing frogs, to egg laying chickens. Baker's marionettes have entertained nearly seven hundred thousand people since the theater's opening.
Jennifer Steinhauer of The New York Times has described Baker's shows as "a staple of a Los Angeleno childhood. It is the cultural equivalent of the annual march by the nation's third graders to the neighborhood firehouse." On June 3, 2009, The Bob Baker Marionette Theater was declared an historic cultural monument by the city of Los Angeles.
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.
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. After graduating from Hollywood High School, he began his extensive career in animation at the George Pal Studios. He began as an apprentice and soon became a top animator of "Puppetoons" a year later.
After WWII, 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.
Bob also 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.
Bob's dream of establishing a school began with the formation of the Academy of Puppetry and Allied Arts, a non-profit organization. The Academy's mission is to educate the public about puppet arts and to encourage and foster puppetry presentations. The Academy of Puppetry provides funding to subsidize tickets for students from local area schools to attend performances at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and distributes literacy and language development resources that bring the experiences at the Theater back to the classrooms.
The Academy of Puppetry provides students and teachers in the Los Angeles area the opportunity to attend puppetry presentations and learn about the integration of puppetry arts with language arts, music, art, sculpture and crafts. The program also fulfills the Academy of Puppetry and Allied Arts' mission of preserving puppetry arts and creative live entertainment for future generations of children and adults. Bob's goal of a refurbished theater complex complete with training facilities is still a long way off. However, Bob Hopes that, with the aid of civic leaders and corporate sponsors, his Academy will one day be a reality and housed in buildings adjacent to the historic Theater.
The Bob Baker Marionette Theater is located at 1345 West First Street, Los Angeles, Calif. Performances begin today, February 2, 2013 and run Tuesdays through Fridays at 10:30am and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30pm.Tickets: Children and Adults $15.00; Children under Age 2 Free. Call the Box Office at (213) 250-9995 for required reservations or go online at www.bobbakermarionettes.com.
Photo credit: Bob Baker Marionette Theater