Rachel Roland is a mom on a mission - exploring the Valley with her two little companions in search of the best restaurants, attractions, and products for you and your children. See what she has in store for your family today!This particular day, Sarah and Jeremiah were unavailable, so I had to take the Princess and Iron Man to the Great Arizona Puppet Theater. We were very fortunate to attend the premiere of their brand new show titled: "The Princess, The Unicorn, and The Smelly Foot Troll." We arrived at the Theater - located just off the I-10, on 3rd Avenue and Roosevelt, and were able to hang out in their gift shop, which has so many different puppet-related items: small theaters, marionettes, finger puppets, hand puppets - you get the idea. The gift shop also doubles as a museum of sorts for puppets from past shows.
The Theater itself is in a historic building. which is absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of an old school or maybe an old church. The ceilings in the theater area were lovely and the architecture is just something you don't see in modern buildings. I love that they are using an old building to help revitalize this particular part of Phoenix!
The theater is intimate and cozy, and children (as well as adults) have the option of sitting on the floor near in front of the stage or sitting on bench seats. Her Royal Highness and Iron Man chose to sit on the floor, so I sat with them, of course. The view was perfect from our vantage point!
Prior to the show, the director of the Theater, Nancy, comes out to talk about the upcoming shows and also does a fun warm up act - the kids are encouraged to sing and dance along to "Shake Your Sillies Out" and "If You're Happy and You Know It." My kids loved the interaction, and when the show started, they were in awe of the beautiful dancing unicorn - Popsicle!
The show is not long - maybe a half hour, total - so it's perfect for those of the wiggly variety. Even the Princess, who normally doesn't sit still for much, was entranced by the show the whole time. The scenes change often enough and the characters are all lively and fun. At one point, children are encouraged to interact and talk back to the characters - something both the kids (along with all the other children there) loved. The show itself is about friendship and treating others the way you'd like to be treated, a great message for the not only the littlest but the biggest of us.
After the show, the puppeteer, Gwen Bonar (who's been doing this since she was 6!), comes out and explains how the puppets work, and then allows the children to come and greet the puppets. You can even touch them, as long as you're very, very gentle! Gwen does all the voices and controls all the puppets in this particular show, which I was completely in awe of - she's clearly an expert and highly coordinated (something I can't really say about myself).
The Unicorn and Princess even posed for us after the show!
This was a great experience for us, and I know a lot of you parents out there have children who are still home from school for holiday break. Why not head to Phoenix, have lunch at Pita Jungle (just down the block) and then enjoy a fun puppet show aftewards?
The Princess, The Unicorn, and The Smelly Foot Troll runs through January 15th. Showtimes are Wednesday - Saturday at both 10am and 2pm, and Sundays at 2pm only. Tickets are $6 for children 2 years and up, and $8 for adults. You can also become a member to enjoy lower ticket prices for all shows, as well as other benefits. All tickets need to be purchased at the theater, either in advance or the day of the show (but I'd recommend buying in advance!) They also host "Adults Only" themed shows, as well as birthday parties.
The Great Arizona Puppet Theater is located at: 302 W Latham St, Phoenix, 85003. You can call them at 602-262-2050 for ticket and more show information, as well.