Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Batman, Robin, Julie Newmar and Marionette Skeletons: A Masquerade Ball to Remember at the Bob Baker
Pow! Bam! Zlonk! Chris Nichols, Los Angeles magazine's "City Scholar" (that's his new title, and an apt one at that), throws parties like no one else. In the past, we've traveled to San Bernardino's Wigwam Motel, Glendale's Ard Eeven and have hit the trains at Union Station. This year, he outdid himself by throwing a birthday party/masquerade ball at the famed Bob Baker Marionette Theatre. Special guest Julie Newmar sat next to Chris, and after the show, a surf rock band (Davie Allan & The Arrows, who scored Roger Corman's The Wild Angels, among other things) kept the crowd dancing into the night. It was a great event and a great evening. We even ran into some old blogging pals, Scott Lowe and Ellen Bloom.
Here's how the invite came. Yes, the "Wayne Foundation" reference should have been a tip-off. More on that in a moment.
We arrived to this marquee, and were glad to see that everyone had dressed the part -- 1960s masquerade ball. I was in an old tux, and Maria was in a black dress. I wore Groucho Marx glasses and Maria had a mask we had purchased last year for a KCRW event.
The crowd gathered before hand, munching on 60s-style canapes and sipping champagne.
Us, in disguise.
The show gets underway. Timur Bekbosunov kicks things off. "He looks like the Penguin from 'Gotham,'" Maria notes. In the background, John Ennis plays a Liberace-like character in a gold suit.
Creepy skeleton marionettes. It is the Bob Baker, after all!
Batman and Robin come on the scene to rescue attendees from the puppets.
Wait a second! Turns out we'd been living an episode of the 1960s "Batman" series all along! King Tut, who had been quietly sitting in the audience, stands up and tries to thwart Batman and Robin.
Uh-oh! Will the Caped Crusader and his Boy Wonder make it out alive?
They did! One final lesson from Batman and Robin.
Chris and special guest Julie Newmar enjoy the show.
Batman, Robin, Batgirl and Julie Newmar.
In the Bob Baker workshop
More from the workshop
Marionette in the workshop
Where it's all built, even Mickey Mouse
Outside the Bob Baker
Yes, even Angelyne stopped by!