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New Orleans Giant Puppet Festival returns April 19-23 

Ten puppeteer companies present shows at two venues

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The New Orleans Giant Puppet Festival has grown to two venues, 10 puppet companies, including international artists, and a variety of productions ranging from family-friendly traditional tales to late-night adults-only shows. Host and sponsor Mudlark Puppeteers presentsVassilisa the Wise, a new take on a Russian baba yaga folk tale. Returning companies include Toybox Theatre from North Carolina, Night Shade from Portland, Oregon, and Di Fillipo Marionette from Italy. Rasputin's Marionettes from Los Angeles is among the newcomers. There also are puppet slams — a sort of open mic for festival participants to present short pieces or snippets — at 10:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at Mudlark Public Theatre. New Orleans musician and puppeteer Harry Mayronne presents his High Strung Cabaret marionette show at the Saturday puppet slam. Suggested donations are $10-$20. Visit www.facebook.com/mudlarkpublictheater for schedule and information.

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