Best Kids' Thrill - 2008
Bob Kramer's Marionnettes
Kids are what make the CGI world go 'round — they're into tech, and in a major way. Yet if a grownup spends an afternoon with a whippersnapper or two, that adult will learn that while kids are well versed in all things electronic and modern, they also get as much of a thrill from the same things children loved generations ago. Playing on monkey bars, climbing trees, licking an ice-cream cone, seeing a puppet show — these activities still light up a child's eyes in a way that a handheld gaming device's screen just can't. Take that last one, for instance. At a puppet show, like those held daily at Bob Kramer's Marionnettes, characters come to life right before audience members' eyes. And Kramer's cute puppets are so lovingly and painstakingly created — each marionette takes more than 1,500 hours to construct! — they exude a certain sense of magic and wonder even adults can appreciate. With intricate, gorgeous costumes and entertaining, familiar stories (including Peter and the Wolf, which has been staged by Kramer's for more than twenty years), plus puppet-making demonstrations before each show, Bob Kramer's puppet theater is truly a treasure that's helped keep the art of puppetry alive in St. Louis for the past 45 years. Here's to several more decades with strings attached!