Children's theater is a great way to gently introduce kids to theater before they realize that most plays are just about sad guys talking. Get kid-friendly kicks with this GrouponLive deal to see a marionette show at the Columbia Marionette Theatre. Tickets are good for any performance; Hansel and Gretel is the current show, and Beauty and the Beast will open on January 12. Shows run on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and the third Monday of every month at 10 a.m. Choose between the following options:
- For $10, you get four general-admission tickets (a $20 value).
- For $15, you get six general-admission tickets (a $30 value).
Wielding puppets handcrafted for each show, Columbia Marionette Theatre’s master string-pullers combine traditional puppetry, computer animation, and immersive sound effects to reinvent the stories of familiar fairy tales. The company’s production of Hansel and Gretel pays homage to early cartoon animation with black-and-white depictions of the play’s titular characters, who sport poofy gloves and have dark, expressive eyes. The set’s background projection of the forest leading to the witch’s gingerbread house takes on a foreboding darkness that permeates throughout, even as a custom soundtrack tries to ease the tension with upbeat, swing music. The production retains many aspects of the original story, including the ritualistic scattering of breadcrumbs and the eventual lesson in oven safety.
Columbia Marionette Theatre
Cofounded in 1988 by master puppeteer Allie Scollon and her son, John, the Columbia Marionette Theatre showcases the string-pulling artistry of its puppeteers both on its home stage and at shows across South Carolina. Expressive puppets crafted for each show breathe new life into classic fairy tales and educational programs, including shows about littering, going to the dentist, and a combo show about not discarding your old teeth in the park fountain.