The Wandering Marionettes' Gorgeous Masked Performances

hello-kittys-bats-and-cats-masquerade-royal-t.4107015.87.jpg Photo: Shannon Cottrell/LA Weekly from "Hello Kitty's Bats and Cats Masquerade @ Royal/T" The Wandering Marionettes are a performance troupe based in Los Angeles who have become an important part of the city's nightlife. They appear frequently at clubs and other events (like Labyrinth of Jareth) across L.A. dressed in black and white and wearing sleek masks, using music and dance to tell a story of mysterious dolls. I wrote about The Wandering Marionettes when they put together their own party, Kabinet Theatre, in Hollywood last year. (They've hosted Kabinet Theatre nights since then, as well, but moved it downtown.) I like The Wandering Marionettes for a reason similar to The League of S.T.E.A.M.: both emphasize audience interaction in their work. Typically, The Wandering Marionettes will do a few dance numbers on stage, but that's only part of what they do. The members of the troupe are in character all night and much of their performance revolves around their interaction with the crowd. They might be on the dance floor or hanging around the bar with everyone else, but they don't speak and how you react to them more or less prompts what happens next. Check out the video below to see The Wandering Marionettes on stage. Link: The Wandering Marionettes


  1. For as much as I dislike dance numbers and interactive theatre, I found this video very engaging. Something about the masks and costumes matches up with something or other in my brain.

    Too often, the motif of the porcelain-smooth mask is used to conceal some sinister character, but these people don’t appear to be doing that at all. Instead, it almost has a sort of kabuki feel to it. Sort of.

    I’ll have to find out some more about the Wandering Marionettes. Thanks for the video.

  2. If you like this, you’ll probably like the Jabbawockeez, which have been around for a while now. I’ve always liked the idea of having the plain white masks on to conceal the dancers and give them the ability to morph into all sorts of characters.

    You can find a bunch of vids around with them. They were in America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV, winning the first season, and then went on to have a Vegas show. Not sure if that’s still going on.

  3. They are fantastic artists, I’ve been watching their shows for years now with Cirque Berzerk, Labyrinth and at arts events around town. If any LA artists deserve more shows and recommendations it’s the Wandering Marionettes! Fantastic look and feel, choreography and art/design under the hood.

  4. well, here’s a korean group which i now believe is about 8 or 9 years old. they have a marionette routine that has become quite well known in asia.

    not sure if that’s an influence they had or whatnot

  5. Marionette!
    -I ain’t one yet….
    Teacher’s Pet!
    -U better forget it…

    Go check yer product!

  6. Man, that would freak me out. If one of them came up to me in a club, I would leave and never come back.

  7. I’ve seen the Wandering Marionettes at Jareth and they are great. Very entertaining and they really do interact with the audience. Their costumes and masks are a lot of fun, and really give their performance something extra.

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