There are certain L.A.-only things that need to be taken back, reclaimed from the eye-rolling urbanites and creepy novelty-record-collector types whose mission has been to take Los Angelenopalooza and make it something else, something unfun, or even worse, academic. I'm talking institutions like Clifton's Cafeteria, Dr. Gene Scott (RIP), and Bob Baker and his marionettes. Bob Baker learned the art of puppetry at the tender age of 8 and went to Hollywood High School, fer chrissakes. He animated for George Pal and advised Disney! This writer may never again implore L.A. parents to do themselves and their spawn a favor — The Bob Baker Marionettes Holiday Spectacular comes but once a year. Baker selects from his personal collection of more than 3,000 hand-crafted puppets to put on a show unlike any you've ever seen, featuring “everything from a trip to Santa's workshop to the eight days of Chanukah” as well as elves, wizards and old-timey carollers promenading before you. Yes, Eli Presser is a deity among string-pullers, but this old-school marvel will take you back in time, long before Rip Taylor upped his appearance fee, to a land of imagination and mystical make believe! Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. 1st St.; Tues.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.; Sat.-Sun., 2:30 p.m.; $20; thru Jan. 8. (213) 250-9995;

Saturdays, Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, 10:30 a.m.; Tuesdays-Fridays, 10:30 a.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Starts: Dec. 17. Continues through Jan. 8, 2011

LA Weekly