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Tales Well Told

'Animal This, Animal That' celebrates storytelling.


If you and your family enjoy furry and feathery friends, you might want to make "Animal This, Animal That" an outing. This celebratory storytelling event, at Hollywood's Barnsdall Art Park on Saturday at noon, offers a feel-good bill of professional puppetry, music, dance and song. And the price can't be beat: It's free.

The entertainment lineup begins with the notable Jim Gamble Puppets performing a longtime signature piece of droll puppet whimsy, based on Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals."

Professional storyteller-songwriter Ray De La Paz follows with "The Sterling Show," an animal allegory about a young elephant in search of food in drought-ridden Africa. Accompanied by drummer Chalo Eduardo, the tale gets the audience into the act with sing-along songs and African rhythms.

Dancer and screen and film actor Pamela Malof will wrap things up with her dance theater piece "Robotic Doll With Animal Balloons."

The 90-minute event is part of the L.A. Cultural Affairs Department's monthly "Storytelling Time" series, which highlights a surprisingly wide variety of storytelling forms from the conventional to the unexpected--juggling, for instance.

The goals of the series are "to develop an audience for theater," said Rosie Lee Hooks, the department's festivals and Gallery Theatre director, "and to make available the wonderful talent we have here in Los Angeles."

The series, aimed at ages 2 to 14 and parents, takes a "multidisciplinary approach to introduce all the different ways that stories can be told," Hooks said. "It's also always very diverse, to help young people understand different cultures."


"Animal This, Animal That" will take place Saturday at noon in Barnsdall's Gallery Theater, 4800 Hollywood Blvd. Free. Information: (213) 485-0709.

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