Tags: Giving, Imagination, Upcoming Events
St. Michael’s is the Home of the Colossal Puppets and they will be on display in the church during Michael’s 9th Annual Fete & Craft Faire on Saturday, October 2nd from 10am-4pm. They will appear in the “Songs of Creation” concert, and following the concert will march in a lively Colossal Puppet Parade to the green.
The Faire also features “An Arabian Adventure,” a breathtaking, amazing spectacle presented by The Tanglewood Marionettes inside the church at 1pm. This show is free to children of all ages.
Since St. Michael’s has a long-standing love of puppets, this year we are showcasing something very special at our Fete & Faire. But first, a little background. . .
Bil Baird, born in 1904, was an American puppeteer of the mid- and late 20th century. One of his better known creations was Charlemane the lion. He and his wife Cora produced and performed the famous marionette sequence for The Lonely Goatherd in the film version of The Sound of Music.
He wrote The Art of the Puppet (1965) and provided the puppets for Dark Shadows. Baird also created the expandable nose Peter Noone wore as Pinocchio in the 1968 musical adaptation that aired as a Hallmark Hall of Fame special. He has a well-deserved reputation for doing literally everything possible with puppets, from delicately carved wooden figures to huge, larger-than-life creations. With his wife and a large company of puppeteers, he enjoyed a sixty-year career playing in night clubs, the Ziegfeld Follies, Broadway theaters, commercials, a variety of films, and at two World’s Fairs.
Upon his death, nearly all of the Bil Baird Marionettes (an 800 lot auction) were sold at The Greenwich Auction Room over two days. Marionettes depicting Elsie the Cow and her family were desired by many but sold to a Pennsylvania toy dealer. The prize of the lot – Olly Oilcan from the 1939 Chicago World’s Fair – sold for an astonishing $11,000.
Through the generosity of a church member, St. Michael’s has acquired a rare, historic “rod puppet” stunningly dressed as a Parisienne from Bil Baird’s personal collection. She appeared in the Federico Garcia Lorca puppet play “Don Cristobal” in 1965 and was evidently given to Bil Baird by the Tandarica Theatre in Bucharest when he served as a judge at the international UNIMA Puppetry Festival.
Appraised at a value of $625.00, this lovely puppet will be the prize in a free drawing to be held during St. Michael’s 9th Annual Fete & Craft Faire. All Faire-goers will have the chance to win this piece of “puppet history” and perhaps start their own collection of these delightful creatures