Marionettes in motion

Gustave Baumann’s marionettes were brought to life. Or more correctly, replicas of his marionettes were used in a special performance rounding out the exhibit of Gustave Baumann’s works at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Marionette shows are a rarity these days. As I waited and soaked in the stage set, I had memories of my earlier puppeting days, when silly antics and dialogue would bring squeals of delight from the kids in the audience.

The kids at the marionette show seemed enthralled with the show. A two-year old grinned with delight as she walked back and forth between the stage and her mother.

The troupe Teatro Duende out of New Mexico performed a skit adapted to Indianapolis, with quips and jabs at the city, mentioning such things as “everyone is welcome here”—a reference to a business-community initiative following the RFRA debacle last year. Strangely, the audience of adults did not often laugh—or maybe not catch—these references that delighted me.

My favorite bit of the skit? Probably the talking donkey, Miguelito, who the mischievous Duende Warts encouraged to jump up and down on a bed. Duende Warts, the house elf, was miffed for not being invited to a party being held in the house later that day. He sought to stir up trouble, dragging his friend Miguelito into his schemes.

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