They might be made of wood and string, but Bob Baker’s marionettes bring real, palpable emotions to anyone lucky enough to experience them– from delight to excitement to fear (we recall being a bit scared of some of them as a child). Baker’s theater locales around L.A . and shows at various family events cemented his place as a local legend, and when the facility was in danger of closure, friends and fans rallied to keep it alive in a new location.
The whimsical delight of this L.A. institution is captured in a new book Enchanted Strings: Bob Baker Marionette Theater by Randal J. Metz, which covers the visual history of Baker’s earliest days as well as his theater’s evolving shows and crowds, often mixed with just as many adults as kids. With about 300 gorgeous vintage and contemporary photographs, and a nifty intro by Jordan Peele, the book is a must-have treasure for any follower of L.A. culture and nostalgia, providing behind-the-scenes looks at not only the theater, but Baker and his team’s work with Walt Disney, embellished by hand-drawn concept art, creative notes, and other ephemera.
Tonight, join Alex Evans (Executive Director and Head Puppeteer of Bob Baker Marionette Theater) and Winona Bechtle (Director of Development and Partnerships) as they discuss the book and the theater, and perform with their iconic puppets.
At Chevalier’s Books, 133 N. Larchmont Blvd., Mon., March 7, 7 p.m.; free. Register here. Get your copy here, and mark your calendar for Bob Baker Day at L.A. Historic State Park om April 9. More info here.