Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Best Puppet Show, June 2007

For more than 70 years, Bob Baker has had the world on a string. The master puppeteer has worked with Disney, Elvis, and Leno, but his most precious achievement is the Bob Baker Marionette Theater . Near a downtown overpass, this oasis has entertained children for half a century with time-honored, slightly time-warped revues such as Fiesta!, in which birds in sombreros and glow-in-the-dark skeletons strut to a soundtrack of oldies. Kids sit around the big, carpeted performance space, inches away from the action. Afterward, everyone gets free ice cream. The building is showing its age, but Baker says he plans to expand and refurbish—he wants to add a pipe organ and show silent movies.