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The Ultimate LA Family Guide ™
Puppetolio is a work of love from Steve Meltzer, a friendly performer and collector who also has a great voice. Here is the 411 on Puppetolio:
The address for the theatre is 1014 Broadway in Santa Monica not far from the Lincoln exit of the 10 freeway. There is no parking lot for the theatre so we parked at the meters on Broadway. Try and remember to bring plenty of change because the nonmetered spots were either taken or permit only.
The showtimes are as follows: Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays at 2 pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 am. There is also a special show on the first and third Sat. nites of each month at 6:30 pm. All seats are $7.50. These Sat. night shows are suggested for kids ages 6 and up but the regular shows are for all ages.
Now, about the content of the show. The theatre is cozy and you definitely feel part of the action which is great for engaging young kids. The reason that my family, including my parents, had such a wonderful time is because Steve is so warm, funny, experienced and sincere. He combines marionettes, sing-alongs, humor and ventriloquism and has lots of energy. My kids were laughing about many things he said and did and particularly liked the On Top of Spaghetti sing a long. Steve designs and builds all of the puppets in his show and provides all of the voices. He is very knowledgeable and obviously takes pride in his show and the love he has for his craft is infectious.
After the show which is about 30 minutes, he shows the audience the puppetry workshop adjacent to the stage where all of the marionettes are repaired and repainted and where he of course builds new ones. He also offers a workshop class to the public on Thursday afternoons. There are also birthday party packages available. After showing us the workshop and an 8-foot tall puppet which is quite amazing, he then turns on many of the mechanical sets he has in the lobby and then opens up a side room to show us ll of the puppets he has in his collection. I was overwhelmed with all of the beautifully crafted work that he has lovingly preserved in the space. Madison and Logan were delighted by all of the popular figures they could find including several Pinocchios. We had such a great time walking around and pointing out which ones we liked the best.