1345 W. First St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Region: Echo Park
If you're a parent or grandparent of little ones and/or you love marionettes, you might consider patronizing Bob Baker's The Nutcracker, a presentation from Baker's five-decades-old puppet-theater company. Geared to the preschool set, it's a loose adaptation of the classic Nutcracker tale staged in a spacious room, with high ceilings, ornate chandeliers and shimmery accoutrements. The star feature is a host of rainbow-hued marionettes, gorgeously costumed and representing the story's full spectrum of family, toys and fairies. Kids get to sit on the floor so they can be up front and personal with the puppets. My own favorites among these imaginative creations included a sultan and a belly dancer, a blues band and airborne Wynken, Blynken and Nod puppets (a reference to the 19th-century children's poem). The prerecorded music and narrative won't win any awards, and for grown-ups there's a sugar overload, to be sure. On the other hand, the colorful visuals, including lights and projections, generate their own fantastical magic.
Saturdays, Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, 10:30 a.m.; Mon., Dec. 31, 10:30 a.m. Starts: Nov. 10. Continues through Jan. 27, 2012