Before previewing videos of the masterful Cashore Marionettes shows, my experience with marionettes began and ended with "Pinocchio," who sought a string-less life. But the Cashore Marionettes move so realistically and expressively that audience members easily lose themselves in the believability of their presence. For example, Maestro Janos Zelinka is a marionette "who" performs a violin solo so realistically that "he" entirely absorbs the focus of the viewers, though the strings — and shadowy puppeteers — are visible.
Puppeteer Joseph Cashore has toured his award-winning shows in Asia, Europe, and North America since 1990. Nazareth College Arts Center (4245 East Ave.) will present "Cashore Marionettes: Simple Gifts" on Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Callahan Theater. The hour-long performance will run without an intermission, and is recommended for children ages 8 and up with their families, who should appreciate the craftsmanship of the marionettes, the lovely music, and the moving stories.
Tickets are $15-$18, and you can reserve your spot by calling 389-2170, online at artscenter.naz.edu, or by visiting the Arts Center box office. A demonstrative lecture with creator Joseph Cashore, who has been designing and performing with his marionettes for more than 30 years, will follow the 4 p.m. performance. Learn more at cashoremarionettes.com.