Metro, Theatre

Tanglewood Marionettes Perform at Newton City Hall War Memorial Auditorium

Community members gathered Saturday afternoon at the Newton City Hall War Memorial Auditorium for the Tanglewood Marionettes’ performance of Cinderella.

“I usually fill the room when the Tanglewood Marionettes come to town,” said Paula Gannon, director of Newton Cultural Development.

According to Gannon, whose organization helped sponsor the show, the Tanglewood Marionettes have performed in Newton for over 25 years.

“They are a really seasoned marionette company,” Gannon said. “They travel a lot throughout the state. After seeing them once or twice, I decided they’ve got to be a staple, something that we bring back every year.”

Many children sat directly in front of the stage. According to Gannon, by sitting right by the stage, the children feel more immersed in the show by being able to engage more with the story.

Gannon appreciated the reactions of all the children who enjoyed the performance.

“Hearing all the squeals of delight from the kids, I mean, I’ve seen this show many times over the years, and that never gets old,” Gannon said.

Waban resident Brigid Tobin, BC ’97, took her three sons to Saturday’s performance. While they have put on their own puppet shows at home, this was their first time attending a professional puppet show.

“I’ve never seen a puppet show before, and I think it was very, very entertaining,” Tobin’s son, Brendan, said.

Tobin expressed how her son had reservations about attending the show but ended up enjoying the performance.

“Coming in, he’s like, ‘I don’t want to go to a puppet show,’ but he’s in fourth grade, and he liked it, and so all ages can enjoy the marionette show,” Tobin said.

Brendan, a student in the Newton Public Schools, found the show particularly amusing and plans on telling his friends at school about the Tanglewood Marionettes.

“I liked this performance because it was funny,” he said. “I would recommend it to some friends in third grade that I have.”

Brendan also explained why he felt it was important that Newton hold events like Saturday’s marionette show.

“I think it’s important to bring people together,” Brendan said.

Gannon believes the story of Cinderella helped foster a connection within families, as the story has been popular across generations.

Cinderella is just a quintessential, traditional, classic story that has been told for ages,” Gannon said. “So you get parents and grandparents who remember the story who now want to share that down to other generations. So I think there’s a connection there among the families, just through the story itself.”

Gannon was pleased with the success of Saturday’s show, as she has a passion for the arts and for providing events like the Tanglewood Marionette performances for the city of Newton.

“The arts are so important to life, to our joy, our happiness, our health and wellbeing, to being a community, to relating to others,” Gannon said. “It’s the arts that tie it all together. And so anything that my department can do to enhance that to bring forth opportunities for the community to just come together in a joyful way and experience the arts, I’m all for that. That’s what gets me up in the morning.”

February 25, 2024