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Wonderboy joins the puppets of yore

January 18, 2009 |  6:00 am


There were Pinocchio, Howdy Doody and Lamb Chop. Kermit and MIss Piggy. Kukla and Ollie. And now there's ... Wonderboy!

Yes, as Victoria Looseleaf writes in the Arts & Books section, veteran San Francisco choreographer Joe Goode has collaborated with ace puppeteer Basil Twist on a work called "Wonderboy" -- featuring a 4-foot-tall plastic puppet created by Twist and modeled on Goode, 57, when he was much younger.

In the 40-minute autobiographical piece, being presented by the Joe Goode Performance Group in Southern California this week, the dancers manipulate Wonderboy and also interact with him. In fact, says the choreographer, "I thought the puppet was going to make the piece more theatrical and less dance, but it's the most dancerly piece I've made in the last 10 years. There's something liberating with the puppet that allowed us to move very extravagantly, even romantically, and come to a new place with the body."

-- Craig Fisher

Photo: Joe Goode and Wonderboy. Credit: Randi Lynn Beach / For The Times