The Theatre: Old Show in Manhattan

Theatre of the Piccoli (produced by Cheryl Crawford) is—mechanically speaking—the world's greatest marionette show. Last seen on Broadway in 1934, Vittorio Podrecca's marionettes returned last week to demonstrate once more an art whose masters require 20 years of apprenticeship. No suitcase theatre, but a vast marionet-work involving three miles of string, over 800 wooden performers and 20-odd flesh-&-blood puppeteers, the Piccoli offers a bill as long and elaborate as a Broadway revue.

For puppet-actors, it proves too elaborate. A puppet Cinderella needs more than a fairy godmother's wand to make it come alive. All the Johann Strauss music in the...

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