Neighbors gathered for final ‘farewell’ preceding puppets’ move to new theater

| May 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
BOB BAKERMarionette Theater’s farewell attendees include, from left, Daryl Twerdahl, Elizabeth DeBreu, Priscilla Wright, Michael Wright, Kevin O’Connell, Mary O’Connell, Jim Twerdahl, Carl Anderson, Carolyn Bennett, Betsy Anderson, Meg Bates, Miles Paley, Caroline Tracy, and Cynthia, Emmy, Rose and Phoenix Lay.

Nearly 100 lucky humans, many from local neighborhoods, enjoyed their special welcome at the original home of the Bob Baker Marionette Theater on Sun., March 31. It was special because the theater and we puppets were being packed up for our move to our new home in Highland Park.

Nevertheless, in the midst of a jumble of boxes and racks of puppets, many of those puppets and their puppeteers managed to put on a wonderful “farewell” show. Dancing cacti, spooky skeletons illuminated with ultraviolet light, prancing bears, cats and birds, and an abundance of clowns delighted the children and adults.

The majority attending, with cocktails in hand, were adults because the “goodbye” party was organized with them in mind. Brookside’s Vivian Gueler recruited Windsor Square’s Martha and John Welborne to join her in inviting friends for this final event at the longtime home of the marionette theater that opened there 55 years ago. Gueler is a board member of the nonprofit organization established to keep the Bob Baker Marionette Theater a thriving institution in perpetuity. The Welbornes have many friends who have brought children to the theater for four decades or more.

Seen at the party were Vivian’s daughter Nikka and mother Laura, Daryl and Jim Twerdahl, Elizabeth DeBreu with her father Judge Richard (Skip) Byrne, Priscilla and Michael Wright, Kevin O’Connell and Mary Adams O’Connell, Carl Anderson, Carolyn and Jamie Bennett, Scott Johnson and Meg Bates, Betsy Anderson, Larchmont’s Bob Day and Monica, Farmers Market’s Hank Hilty and Diane, Lorraine Wild and John Kaliski, Patsy Lowry with son Patrick, Amy Forbes, Sally and Van Dyke Parks, Caroline Tracy and children Miles and Anna Paley, Laurie Brown, and Cynthia, Emmy, Rose and Phoenix Lay.

More locals attending with children were Carrie and Matt Alling, Stephanie Levine, Neenu Khemlani, Esther Lee and Jordana Stoppani. And lots more not from the immediate Larchmont Chronicle neighborhoods, of course!

CLOWNS perform for the final time at the landmark theater near Downtown, but they and all the puppets are soon to debut in their new home on York Blvd. in Highland Park.

Before the parade of puppets, there was a brief welcome by the party hosts and by Executive Director & Head Puppeteer Alex Evans and Director of Development Winona Bechtle, who described their immediate efforts of packing — packing the puppets plus the rest of the contents of Bob Baker’s puppet-designing and puppet-making workshops — and then transporting everything to the not-faraway new home in Highland Park.

That was another of the “good news” items shared during the five minutes of speeches preceding the puppet show. There now is a wonderful new venue for our revered theater company — on hip York Boulevard in Highland Park. Until that new home is up and running (tentatively set for this summer), many of us puppets will continue to visit the Miracle Mile Toy Hall, 5464 Wilshire Blvd., at 11 a.m. on the last Sunday of every month. The next show there is May 26. More information is available at:

To learn details about the history of the theater and our new home, visit

Historic marionette yard sale May 19

BOB BAKER Marionette Theater is having a yard sale

Take home a part of history from the Bob Baker Marionette Theater yard sale, 1345 W. 1st St., Sun., May 19 beginning at 9 a.m.

Everything from cans of powdered tempera paint from 1950 to Christmas lights, vintage napkins and party supplies (excluding puppets) and more will be for sale.

Proceeds from the sale will help perpetuate the nonprofit Bob Baker Marionette Theater at its new location in Highland Park.

Early admission tickets for those who want to start shopping at 8 a.m. will be available.

For more information, visit

By Percy the Birthday Dog


Category: Entertainment

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