Nearly three decades ago, this reviewer attended a production of The Nutcracker
with his daughter, and was surprised how thoroughly enjoyable this "children's show" was. Similarly, while It's a Musical World
reveals no surprises, the production at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater is a kick from start to finish, and there's even free ice cream after the performance. It's essentially a musical variety show staged in a large carpeted room with chandeliers, immense red curtains and lots of space for the kiddies to take a front-row seat. The musical selections are culled from country, pop, classical, R&B, rock and familiar musicals, and there's even a marionette from Azusa who sings an enchanting aria. Here is a universe of puppets of all shapes, sizes and artful imaginings. The costuming is an eye-catching panorama of colors and styles, and the puppeteers dazzle with their skills. On display are a troupe of clowns, some ice skaters outfitted in turn-of-the-century garb, a garrulous Eskimo, a burlesque chorus, a disco duet featuring "Turn the Beat Around" and a grand American finale performed with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop. Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.; Sat-Sun., 2:30 p.m.; through Sept. 29. (213) 250-9995, bobbakermarionettes.com.
Saturdays, Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, 10:30 a.m. Starts: June 22. Continues through Sept. 29, 2013