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June 10, 2012 | By Melissa Leu, Los Angeles Times
Inside an industrial white building just west of downtown is a place where roosters serenade chickens, hats become ice skaters and cactuses dance toe to toe. Here at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, children sit enchanted by the world of puppets. "There's nothing else like it. I can't imagine what my life would be without it, nor what Los Angeles would be without it," said Alex Evans, a puppeteer and stage manager at the theater. The landmarkat 1st Street and Glendale Boulevard has been entertaining audiences for 52 years.
April 19, 2012 | By Matt Donnelly
Michelle Williams and new boyfriend Jason Segel stepped out in public for the first time Wednesday at the premiere of his new film,  "The Five-Year Engagement. " In line with reports from mid-March that had the actors dating for months already, they braved the eyes of peers and press at an after-party at New York's Museum of Modern Art.  Hand-in-hand, Segel and Williams chatted up the likes Elizabeth Banks and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Vanity Fair said , as well Robert De Niro, whose Tribeca Film Festival hosted the premiere screening.
December 5, 2011
Christmas present? Re "GOP rejects payroll tax break bills," Dec. 2 Just in time for Christmas, hardworking taxpayers Bob Cratchit and his family (the downtrodden American public) will be wondering what decisions Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge (Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner) will be making about their economic futures. It will be interesting to watch how this modern-day "Christmas Carol" plays out. Will lawmakers side with the Cratchit family and Tiny Tim and raise taxes on themselves and banker Henry Potter (Wall Street CEOs)
November 29, 2011 | Jonah Goldberg
Earlier this month, the left-wing magazine the Nation highlighted Joe Therrien as a symbol of the Occupy Wall Street movement. A New York City public school drama teacher, Therrien was frustrated with the shortcomings of the school system. So he quit his job and "set off to the University of Connecticut to get an MFA in his passion — puppetry. " Three years and $35,000 in student loan debt later, Therrien returned home, only to find he couldn't land a full-time job. Apparently, a master's in puppetry doesn't provide the competitive edge in the marketplace he'd hoped for. Therrien joined Occupy Wall Street, constructing giant puppets and "figuring out how to make theater that's going to help open people up to this new cultural consciousness.
November 4, 2011 | By Sheri Linden
Kevin Clash wasn't the first puppeteer behind "Sesame Street" character Elmo, but he's the one who gave the shaggy red Muppet a falsetto voice and the personality of a sweet toddler — and thus created a superstar for the preschool set. "Being Elmo" is a documentary as gentle as its subject: the story of a boy who realized his dream and, on the film's evidence, received a lot of encouragement and support along the way. That's not to diminish his...
November 1, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans are being “led like puppets by Grover Norquist,” the anti-tax activist and keeper of a pledge that binds nearly all Republican lawmakers to a promise not to raise taxes. Reid made the remark to reporters Tuesday as he complained about Republicans' refusal to raise taxes to pay for the president's jobs bill or to lower the deficit. As the fight over the deficit intensifies, and a deadline for a super committee deal nears, Norquist has increasingly become a punching bag on Capitol Hill.
October 30, 2011 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
A curious thing happens when a child meets Kevin Clash. Although he's 6 feet tall and speaks in a gravelly baritone, he all but disappears. "I'm just somebody carrying around their friend," said Clash, 51, who for the last 26 years has been an anonymous superstar as the voice and soul of "Sesame Street's" Elmo. "If the child loves the character, they keep their imagination. " Clash is the subject of "Being Elmo," a documentary opening in Los Angeles on Friday that charts his journey from a bashful Baltimore adolescent sewing puppets out of slippers and coat linings to protégé of Muppets creator Jim Henson, and eventually "Sesame Street's" premier puppeteer.
September 16, 2011 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
One of Russia's wealthiest men on Thursday abruptly quit as leader of a party casting itself as a challenger to the Kremlin's stranglehold on politics, suggesting to supporters that a feared power broker had orchestrated a takeover because the party was becoming too independent. The decision several months ago by Mikhail Prokhorov, a businessman who owns the New Jersey Nets basketball team, to try to revive the moribund Right Cause party had been controversial from the start. Prokhorov has decried the lack of alternatives to the governing party.
May 8, 2011 | By Cristy Lytal, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The new film "The Beaver" stars Mel Gibson as a mentally ill man who begins to speak through a battered hand puppet that he retrieves from a dumpster in a moment of despair. Although the controversial star made a point to puppeteer the beaver himself, on the set, puppet wrangler Anney McKilligan Ozar was tasked with grooming the creature's fur and even brushing its prominent teeth. "I had to keep his teeth nice and shiny because things wear down," she said. On an average day on the job, McKilligan Ozar said she needs "everything from 18 different sizes of needles to 18 different sizes of drill bits.
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