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Monday, December 01, 2008

Marionnettes need bailout....

Whaaa--? The headline says it all: "Forget Citigroup and Lehman, Puppet Show Needs a Bailout."
Near a freeway overpass on a decidedly scrappy edge of downtown Los Angeles is a marionette puppet theater that has enchanted children over nearly five decades, several recessions, two riots, at least four failed urban renewal plans and an earthquake or two.

The Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s shows, employing an eclectic selection of Mr. Baker’s 3,000 handmade puppets prancing about a shoebox-size theater perpetually decked out in gold garlands, are a staple of a Los Angeleno childhood. It is the cultural equivalent of the annual march by the nation’s third graders to the neighborhood firehouse.

But the struggling California economy and some bad business decisions by Mr. Baker have left the Bob Baker marionettes in a deep financial ditch, and Mr. Baker, a rather unheralded Hollywood legend, with an uncertain future. “We have all kinds of problems that have come up recently,” Mr. Baker said. “But we’re not going to close. We’re going to fight this out to the very bitter end.”

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