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‘The Dinosaur Show’ mixes science with whimsy
by Caroline Young
cyoung@neighbornewspapers.com
July 18, 2012 09:46 AM | 1483 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Photo <br>
From left, puppeteers Mike Horner and Gabby Baculi prepare for the Paul Mesner Puppets' production of "The Dinosaur Show."
Special / Photo
From left, puppeteers Mike Horner and Gabby Baculi prepare for the Paul Mesner Puppets' production of "The Dinosaur Show."
slideshow
Paul Mesner Puppets is trekking from Kansas City, Mo., to perform “The Dinosaur Show” at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Midtown.

“The subject of dinosaurs never goes out of style,” said Liz Lee, the center’s producer. “Paul Mesner Puppets has created a show with a great mix of science and whimsy. “It’s unique fun that is perfect for summer audiences.”

The show started Tuesday and runs through July 29.

It presents scientific facts about dinosaurs and “how they came to be” in a funny fashion, according to Mike Horner, associate artistic director of Paul Mesner Puppets, who plays paleontologist Dr. Dino Sawyer and “assorted dinosaurs and creatures.”

Horner describes Dr. Sawyer as “sort of a goof-ball,” who discovers bones and tries to figure out what to do with them.

“He puts them on his head, he pretends he’s a crow, he plays the spine of a dinosaur as an air guitarist,” he said. “He finds silly purposes before he gets the bones in proper order.”

Horner said “The Dinosaur Show” appeals strongly to boys but girls enjoy the fairy tale aspect of it.

“We tend to get a lot of princess fans,” he said. “It’s a show that appeals to everyone.”

Horner said the set transitions from a “desert in the Midwest” with limestone rocks and a canyon in the background to an underwater scene where historically, the first creatures appear.

“Then, we go to a lush jungle set where we meet the land creatures,” he said.

Paul Mesner Puppets is bringing rod puppets, hand puppets, shadow puppets and body puppets to Atlanta, according to Horner.

“The Brockasaurus dinosaur is a body puppet,” he said. “Our puppeteer Gabby [Baculi] performs that with one hand in the head and the other hand in the tail, and his head forms the dinosaur’s hump.”

Since 1980, Lee said the center has presented traveling companies for its family programs. This season, Paul Mesner is one of nine companies to visit the venue and first performed there in 1988.

“Along with award-winning center productions, the presentation of renowned puppet companies from around the world enriches our community and allows center audiences to see a wide range of performance and puppet styles, traditional and modern interpretations of stories, and original work,” Lee said. “Through our guest companies, center audiences experience the diverse cultural nature of puppetry and see through the eyes of people from all over the world.”

If you go:

  • What: “The Dinosaur Show”
  • Where: Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St., Midtown.
  • When: today through July 29. Tuesdays through Fridays at 10 a.m. and noon, Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Sundays at 1 and 3 p.m.
  • Cost: $9.25 for members and $16.50 for non-members over 2. Ticket includes admission to the show, Create-A-Puppet Workshop and all museum exhibits. 
  • Information: www.puppet.org or (404) 873-3391.
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