Friday, December 24, 2010

The Nativity Story

As I drove North on I-4 I got nervous about going to Pinocchio's Puppet Theater since I figured the Altamonte Mall must be packed since it was the last shopping weekend before Christmas. Surprisingly it was easy to find parking and it wasn't too crowded in the mall. When I got to Pinocchio's I slipped in past the velvet rope. Sarah Lockhard and Heather Henson were manipulating several puppets, just finishing up a rehearsal. Along the side wall of the theater there was a trio of medieval performers with recorders, a vi0lin and mandolin. They were the Olde Noyse Trio. The recorder player glanced over at me while I sketched. He said, "Your Tom aren't you? I played recorders with your wife Terry."

The puppet show began with the annunciation as an angel appeared before Mary telling her she would immaculately conceive a child. The Mary puppet was manipulated by Sarah Lockhard who panted in surprise upon seeing the angel. Mary was no more than a foot high. Joseph who was much older than Mary had a difficult time believing Mary was with child. The truth was reveled in a dream. Some children squirmed, not understanding all aspects of the story.

When the Nativity Story was complete, Sean Keohane stood at the set alter an announced that they would set up the manger scene again so children could get a closer look, and parents could take pictures. A little boy shouted out, "I want to see the baby!" When I inspected the puppets up close, a pupeteer took one of the three Magi's and she started lifting his skirt. "This is my favorite part." she said. Neatly sewn on the Magi's butt was a cloth label that read, Jim Henson's Workshop.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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