Lela Allmendinger started telling stories in elementary school and kept it up all the way through college. Then, as fate would have it, she got a great job at the Springville Library as a storyteller where, with some prodding, she started playing with puppets.
Puppets became a hobby she loved, and when she finished making her first puppet, she brought him out to show her girls. Lela's daughter pointed at him and said "Broccoli" - and now Broccoli, a playful orange guy who asks a lot of questions, is part of most of The Allmendinger's shows.
Lela's husband, David, has been singing and dancing since grade school, and can make a whole range of voices and sounds, from a wolf with a Russian accent to the sounds of a monkey. As Lela explains, "He got started with puppets because I threw him behind the puppet theater and made him a puppet as bribery." David also does live and recorded narrations.
The puppeteering couple started Puppetales officially in the summer of 2011 when they kept getting requests to perform shows. The Allmendingers have performed at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, the City of Springville and many private events.
Their show, perfect for families with children and the young at heart, will be at the SCERA Center for the Arts today, February 16 @ 11:00am. Tickets for the 45-minute show are $3 for ages 3 and older and may be purchased in advance from 10am-6pm weekdays and Saturdays from 12Noon-6pm at the main office at SCERA Center, by calling (801) 225-ARTS, online at www.scera.org or at the door 30 minutes prior to the show.
Puppetales morphs several favorite stories into something silly and entertaining and is full of fun puppet characters like: Cami, a chameleon who doesn't speak but can be very rude - she loves to stick her tongue out at people; Bartholomew, a big black ape with a snooty attitude; Penelope, a pretty pink monster with long eyelashes who loves music; Howard, a horny toad that can be kind of grumpy sometimes; and Bah Bah, a black sheep who loves to be the center of attention.
Lela says, "No one has more fun at their 'job' than I do. My passion is building puppets, creating unique stories, and sharing them with children."
The SCERA Puppet Shop, under the direction of Nat Reed, hosts a different puppet show each month. Upcoming shows will be held March 16 and April 20.