Tucked away in the West Village is a small artist community, called Westbeth, where wooden elephants, lions and puppies gather together to enchant the children of New York City. The mastermind behind the production is a woman, who greets each family with a nurturing voice and warm hug, embellished in hot pink from head to toe. Penny Jones, the founder of Penny Jones and Company, has been filling rooms with laughter and amazement with her puppetry for over 40 years.
The audience, on this particular morning, follows the musical journey of a puppet named Sebastian as he struggles through his job at the circus and makes a new friend in a little dog, who teaches him how to walk a tightrope. Wide smiles are seen across each row of young show-gazers as two girls dance to Kabalevsky’s orchestral ballad in the back. As the round of applause crescendos, Penny and her team grin from ear to ear, knowing there is no where else they’d rather be.