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Library to present Tanglewood Marionettes on April 17

HOLYOKE - The magical, mystical marvels of the renowned, award-winning Tanglewood Marionettes will return to Holyoke Public Library on April 17 at 1 p.m. for a special performance of their colorful new production of "Sleeping Beauty."

This production, which has been called "An enchanting experience" by Gregg Morell, Director of Springfield's Antic Arts Center, will be preceded by a brief demonstration of the art of puppetry. Through humorous interplay the audience will learn about various forms of puppets, from the simple glove or hand puppet to the sophisticated marionette.

"Sleeping Beauty" is a classic tale which appeals to all ages. In the Tanglewood Marionettes presentation the story begins with the celebration of Princess Aurora's birth. The party takes on a somber and mysterious tone when the wicked witch arrives and places an evil curse upon the young princess. Will the curse come true? If it does can the princess be awakened? Will someone with a "true heart" arrive in time to save the beautiful princess?

Children attending the performance will learn the answers to all of these troubling questions as they watch and listen to the delightful handcrafted marionettes, each dressed in exquisitely made costumes and all brought to life by master puppeteers. The production will be performed against the background of a giant story book with pages that open to reveal the beautiful and colorful scenes of the story.

The Tanglewood Marionettes were founded in 1993 by Anne Ware and Peter Schaffer. They are based in New England, but perform throughout the country, most frequently presenting their repertoire of classic fairy tales to young audiences in schools and libraries.

The Children's Museum of Boston, Boston Athenaeum, Yale Art Gallery, Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline, First Night Boston and the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum are just a few of the locations where they have performed in southern New England.

Tanglewood Marionettes perform annually at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, recognized as one of the nation's foremost puppetry centers. They have also participated in featured performances at the Puppeteers of America National Festivals and have been recognized with a Citation for Excellence in the Art of Puppetry award by the American Center of the Union International de la Marionette.

The April 17th performance of "Sleeping Beauty" is open to children ages 3 and older. Youngsters age 3 through 5 must be accompanied by an adult. Advance reservations are suggested as space is limited. Reservations may be made in person or calling the library at 413-322-5640.