Jewish Journal

The Culinary Art of Pasta Inspires Puppet Show

by Ryan Torok

November 23, 2010 | 10:06 pm

The Pop Ups. Photo by Yocheved Amrami.

“PASTA! A Pop Ups Puppet Musical” follows around two wannabe-chefs (Jacob Stein, Jason Rabinowitz) who scour Brooklyn in search of the best pasta ingredients. 

The show comes to Los Angeles for several performances between Nov. 23 and Nov. 28.

In “PASTA!” Stein and Rabinowitz bring out the acoustic guitars and sing songs from their recently-released children’s-rock album, “Outside Voices,” drawing from a diverse range of genres, like alternative rock, dance and indie, and featuring lyrics about food, animals and more.

During a recent interview, Stein emphasized his and Rabinowitz’s intention to make a show that appeals to all ages. “If you can straddle the line between entertaining both the kids and the adults, it’s a real success,” Stein said.

The new set of shows marks the duo’s return to Los Angeles, after several dates in the Venice area last summer.

“We decided to come back to L.A. because the fans out here have great energy,” Stein wrote in a recent email. “Once the show ended in July, we received emails asking us when we were bringing the show back to LA.”

In real life, Stein and Rabinowitz met in Brooklyn while working together on another puppet show—one for Passover.

“We hit it off,” Rabinowitz said, adding that when they rejoined to record “Outside Voices,” which eventually inspired their “Pasta” musical, “we both wanted to make a record that was sort of our own personal unbridled fun project. And we did.”

Their love of other well-known shows with puppets, such as “Sesame Street” and “Avenue Q,” influenced their decision to turn their record into their very own puppet show.

“When someone asked us to put together a different show,” Stein said, we thought, “let’s go with something we both love doing…puppets.”

“We have the puppet gene,” Rabinowitz said.

The show sees Stein and Rabinowitz juggling multiple tasks, including, of course, manning the puppets, at one point attaching them to the tongues of their Converse, playing live music and providing a live drawing demonstration.

The show features eights songs along with puppet characters whose names, such as Mr. Clunkhead and Fruta Di Marme, a mermaid, Stein and Rabinowitz hope will appeal to kids.

“I think that everybody can have a lot of fun with puppets,” Stein said.

Tue. Through Nov. 28. All shows at 3:30 pm. (except Sat., Nov. 27 at noon). $15. MiMoDa Dance Studio/Theater, 5774 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. thepopups.com/pasta.

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Ryan Torok is a staff writer and community reporter at the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, where he has spent the past four years covering everything from social justice...

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