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FAMILY : A Humorous, Appealing ‘Puss in Boots’

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Imagination Station, the new children’s theater company housed at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, winds up its appealing first season there with a humorous original adaptation of “Puss in Boots.”

The fledgling troupe, while still rough around the edges, serves up promising entertainment on a starvation budget with two appetizing ingredients: talented professional adult actors and material that shows a comfortable respect for young audiences.

The show, an ensemble effort, begins with late-17th-Century French fairy-tale author Charles Perrault (Jongiorgi Enos) writing a story to send to a young friend (Shari Getz). The tale comes to life with Enos in the title role as the gallant, swaggering Puss, who helps a poor miller’s son become the rich Marquis of Carabas (Jake Eberle) and marry a princess (Jennifer Brandt).

The fun is in the telling, as Puss works toward his goal, eliminating an evil ogre (Jon Reed) in the process. Reed, a mostly satisfactory ogre, is a sketch in his other role as the princess’ royal father with an Elmer Fuddish lisp: “Woast wabbit” is his “absowute favowite.” Where Reed’s turn as the ogre suffers is during scenes done in silhouette, an effect meant to give him a larger-than-life presence, but undone by poor lighting.

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* “Puss in Boots,” Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, Saturdays, 10 a.m. and noon through Oct. 7, $5 per child; $7 per adult. (310) 828-7519.

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Dancin’ Feet: “African Dance From Cameroon,” a free African dance workshop for children and teen-agers, will take place at Watts Towers Arts Center today from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (for ages 13 to 17) and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon (for ages 6 to 12). Space is limited.

The workshop is part of the center’s “Community Bridge” free series of arts classes for children, teen-agers and parents, which includes instruction in drawing and painting, mixed-media and collage, ceramic sculpture, ballet, jazz and modern dance, percussion and comic-book making. The series begins this week and runs through Dec. 15.

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Information: (213) 485-1795.

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Masks and More: Make your own “Skull Mask” when the Autry Museum of Western Heritage gets ready for Dia de Los Muertos with a mask-making workshop, free with museum admission, on Oct. 7, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. All ages are invited and materials are provided. Other arts and crafts activities coming up at the museum are “Papel Picado,” a workshop on the Mexican art of paper decoration (Nov. 4) and “Little Lanterns,” the art of Southwestern tinsmiths (Dec. 3).

Information: (213) 667-2000.

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