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Crèchemania Blog

Christmas 2015

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A Theater Cuckoo Crèche brings back memories of Christmases past...

A toy theater proscenium provides the stage for the Nativity — the Theater Cuckoo Crèche. (Mouseover the image above to part the curtains, allowing a moment for the image to draw on your page. Photo © Crè 

My first toy theater, from long-long ago. 
For me, it wasn't Christmas without a paper nativity to cut and paste.

And so it was this year, but this time the crèche I was assembling was a far cry from those of my Christmases past.

You can see for yourself, by comparing the image at left — my very first toy theater attempt, tucked behind a ceiling trap door when I left Greece for America and found and photographed 40 years later — and the Theater Cuckoo Crèche in the short video at the top of the page.

There's not much in common between the two little theaters besides the curtain, which, in the village version was raised and lowered by hand power.

That, of course, wouldn't do in the age of electronics. And so the curved curtain of the Theater Cuckoo Crèche silently opens automatically before the hour to reveal a tableau of the Nativity.

And what a tableau it is!

Teaming with beautiful Baroque figures from "Christmas in Tyrol," a museum facsimile published by Grand Angle, after the cuckoo calls and retreats behind an ornate roundel at the top of the 19th century Joseph Stolz proscenium, the fun begins.

While a music box melody plays, an angelic host revolves around the baby rocking in its cradle while putti circle above.

Standing on a wall under an arch, another angel lifts high the cross, and a dandy, in reverence, takes off his hat.

And at front left, under three little angels holding a Gloria in Excelsis Deo banner (in Greek) a shaggy dog prances in front of his master.

It all has to be seen to be believed, and the joy of it is that it's all made of paper, whirring tiny plastic wheels, and fine brass wire.

There'll be more to share about the Theater Cuckoo Crèche, but for now, i would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

— Alexis

Be sure to watch the Theater Cuckoo Crèche video...

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Alexis' Blog