Billy Bob Goes to Paris

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, September 25, 1998

Go with me? What happens when an Alabama alley cat named Billy Bob, in search of culture, meets the HunchCat of Notre Dame? A lot of fun and foolishness, that's what, in the annual not-for-kids-only puppet show at the Oak Street Playhouse.

Fred Arnold's puppet-plays are meant for fun lovers of every age. You'll see that the dialogue and satire keep things interesting for grownups and the big kids, while the action keeps the little ones grinning. This year's musical comedy, "An AmeriCat in Paris," has a cast that includes the romping Poodles of Paree and the fumble-bumbles of none other than Inspector Clawseau.

Eight members of the Puppeteers of America keep the action rolling and then stick around afterwards to chat with the children; a good opportunity for learning more about this age-old art form. Puppets were used for storytelling in ancient Egypt and China; by the Middle Ages European folk artists had adapted hand puppets into national characters, such as the English Punch and Judy.

Today, of course, puppets are popular in movies and TV, as well as in live performances. And the 116-seat Oak Street Playhouse is particularly well-suited for such a show. Located in First-Centenary Methodist Church, this gem-of-a-theater stages three major productions a year.

Suzanne Smartt directs and Flo Summit produces a springtime play, usually in May, and a Christmas dinner theater show, in addition to the fall puppet extravaganza. Auditions for this year's Christmas show, "The Moving of Lilla Barton," will be held September 28 and 29. They're open to the public, if you've got the acting bug. Meanwhile, let's head for Paris with Billy Bob. See you there.

Oak Street Playhouse, Oak & Lindsey, Chattanooga
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