There are a few things in life that are undeniably frightening: spontaneous human combustion, hairless cats, the New World Order and puppets. Oh, and not the cutesy, fuzzy Muppets chirping songs about rainbows and cookies, but more like the marionettes-you know, the creepy, subhuman type of puppets. There's a reason why Pinocchio kinda creeped you out-and it wasn't just the fact Gepetto lived alone in a cottage with hand-crafted toys and a boy puppet-turned-alive. But after getting lost in a production put on by the Icarus Puppet Co.'s menagerie, puppets seem to have shrugged off that feeling of being just an empty vessel. The San Diego-based non-profit organization is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults through puppetry and entertainment. Sunday's performance at the Bowers is a creative blend of music, dance, masks and storytelling, bringing to life a trio of folk tales from around the world. The best part? These stories involve totally cute animal puppets, like a quick-witted lamb and a charming Russian bear at odds with a bee.
Sun., Dec. 30, 2 p.m., 2007