Why traditional marionettes trump outdoor music (July 2)

June 30, 2009

One of my goals with this blog is to highlight quality family events brought to us by organizations without the budget or the staff to do a huge amount of publicity. That’s why I’m not going to do a big write-up on the start of the Whitaker Musical Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden tomorrow (July 1). Most everyone knows about it already, and my words of praise would just add to a cacophony. (Though I do have to mention that admission to everything, even the children’s garden, is free after 5 p.m., and the children’s garden doesn’t close until 7 p.m. — so it’s worth attending even if you have no intention of actually staying for the concert!)

The under-publicized event I’m going to write about today instead is the Elsenpeter Marionettes‘ production of Beauty and the Beast at the Tesson Ferry Branch of the St. Louis County Library on Thursday (July 2). The popular story is worth seeing in any form, but what makes this one special is the marionettes themselves. They’re 2-foot-tall, hand-carved wooden dolls animated by Richard B. Elsenpeter, whose company was started 139 years ago in Germany by his great-grandfather. This is a traditional form of puppetry that’s not seen very often — especially not at a free public event like this one.

The library’s not asking for advance registration. You can find out other details on the 2 p.m. performance online here. (You’ll have to scroll down to the right date.)

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