Orlando Puppet Festival
Through Nov. 8 at multiple venues
Just when we thought they weren't coming out to play, the creatives of Ibex Puppetry pushed the Orlando Puppet Festival back on the fall calendar for another year.
But that's old news, almost as old as the disclaimer that Heather Henson — Jim's daughter — runs the Ibex puppet hub out of downtown Orlando. And it's talent coming out of that hub upon which the festival is built: live performances, visual art and special events. By design, there are several locations and entities, but here are the three main faces.
The big show
Bride of Wildenstein — the Musical, a one-man riot of wit and dirty words, starring Marsian (pronounced "Martian"), about the madness of love. Performances Oct. 22-24: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday at Gallery at Avalon Island, upstairs, 37 S. Magnolia Ave. Performances Oct. 29-31: 10:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday at Cameo Theatre, 1013 E. Colonial Drive. All shows are $10; tickets www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/16532.
An Ibex principal, Sean Keohane reopened in August his own theater in the Altamonte Mall that regularly stages chil- dren's productions, all of which fall under OPF's umbrella but still stand on their own.
Hansel & Gretel, the witch is still in the house in the classic fairy tale that features string puppets designed and built by the late, legendary Pady Blackwood, co-founder of Pinocchio's and "official puppeteer for TV's Howdy Doody." Performances through Nov. 1: 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Pinocchio's Marionette Theater, 451 E. State Road 436, Suite 1389, Altamonte Springs; $5; reservations 407-834-8757; www.pinocchios.net.
The Fuzzy Freak Show, hand puppets in action for the wee ones. Performances Nov. 4-8: 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday at Pinocchio's; $5.
Pinocchio's Halloween Costume and Puppet Party, 1:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 1 at Pinocchio's; free.
Visual art: No Strings Attached, exhibit of puppetry-related art strikes an oddly intriguing bell, through Nov. 12 at Gallery at Avalon Island, 37 S. Magnolia Ave.; free; 407-803-6670; www.galleryatavalonisland.com.
Haunted art house: Macabre Vignettes II marks return of the Marke Sisters (Leah Marke and Tamara Marke-Lares) in what Keohane says is "as if Tim Burton and Charles Addams had gotten together to do their own version of Through the Looking Glass." Opening Oct. 29-Nov. 8: 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. at Cameo Theatre; $10; www.brownpapertickets.com.
Trick-or-treat: Lights Up at Macabre Vignettes II, a family-friendly costume party with an electrical art exhibit, performances and the candy-gathering ritual. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 31 at Cameo Theatre; $3 at door.
Puppet jam: Pop Night! is when the puppets and their manipulators ham it up in an open-mic format, hosted by Tony Giordano (human) and Chupacabra (not). 10:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at Cameo Theatre; cost included with Macabre admission.[email protected]