hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Puppets Were Here!

Yesterday afternoon, the local library sponsored a puppet show based on the characters from The Wizard of Oz, by "Welcome Marionettes."    It was a classic marionette performance, which is not easy to see nowadays, even if you live in a much bigger place than Point Roberts.  I guess because of the (well-deserved) popularity of "Sesame Street", rod-puppets are much more likely to be on view, so this was an especially wonderful treat for anyone who is a fan of this very ancient, truly classical puppet format.

The troupe, which is based near Deming, Washington, in a place called "Happy Valley" (would you have puppets based anywhere else?), is small: three puppeteers and one musician, who is also one of the three puppeteers.  Nevertheless, they travel with a large theater (filled up the stage entirely at the Community Center) that enables marionette manipulators to create one of the big magic acts of classic marionettes: as you watch the marionettes, the confines of the stage make them gradually appear to take on life-size so that when you eventually see them next to the human puppeteers, you are astonished to see how small they are.  The enclosed staged does much of the work for this and the human eye does the rest.  Throughout the performance, I was intensely aware of this size sensation.

They sang and they danced and they were much frightened by the flying witch and by the end of the performance, they were all--Dorothy in her glittering red slippers, a very bouncy Scarecrow, a glittering Tinman, a frenetically cowardly Cowardly Lion, and an adorably tiny Toto--safely and confidently on their way to see the Wizard.  And then we got to ask questions of the puppeteers, who not only manipulate the marionettes but actually make them as well.

If you missed it on Saturday, I'm very sorry that you were otherwise busy.  But you can wait hopefully: maybe they'll be back next year with "Alice in Wonderland."  Lucky us!  We live in Point Roberts where the puppets come to us.

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