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Surpassing Pinocchio

Fee-fi-fo-fum! Magic beans and a giant stalk will take over young imaginations this fall as Thistle Theatre kicks off its thrilling new season.

Thistle Theatre is Seattle's company for puppetry in the Japanese Bunraku style, where the puppeteers dress in head-to-toe black and operate the puppets from behind. That way, the hand-made characters seem to move by magic. The result is truly stunning.

The Theatre's 2007-2008 season, Myth, Magic, and Merriment, is selling fast but you can still get a deal (the 'Season Pass' is your best bet). The shows are appropriate for ages three and older, and entertaining at any age. Translation: As much as kids love them, puppets are not just kid stuff.

This season's October and November show is an old English version of Jack and The Beanstalk. For December's fair, the Theatre offers Merry Chris Mouse, an original story in which a mice family moves into the wall of a child's playroom and plan a rescue mission for the childŐs own pet mouse. Delightful songs accompany this whimsical story.

During February and March, the Theatre celebrates cherry blossoms with the Japanese story Hanako and the Cherry Tree. The tale is ripe for the use of shadow and blacklight puppets in addition to the traditional Bunraku puppets, as its bizarre events include a cherry tree growing out of an old miser's head and plenty of mythical creatures. The season closes in April and May when Three Billy Goats Gruff, a Thistle Theatre favorite, returns by popular demand.

Shows take place at several locations -Magnuson Park Theatre, Bellevue Youth Theatre, and Sunset Hill Community Club -and at two times per day. Each show also features one Friday evening performance during its run. In addition to family shows, Thistle Theatre runs school performances which homeschoolers are welcome to attend with registration, and they throw a blast of a birthday party.

Thistle Theatre
Season tickets are $32.00 (adult) or $24.00 (child and senior) for four big shows. Single tickets are $9.00 (adult) or $7.00 (child and senior).