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Center for Puppetry Arts presents fairy tales and more

If you're looking for ways to entertain your kids this summer, don't forget about the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. Not only does the center offer performances, but it also offers puppet-making workshops and houses a puppet museum.

In fact, if your kids really take an interest in puppets, they might be able to entertain themselves until they go back to school. Or at least until you can go back to the Center for Puppetry Arts.

After "Beauty and the Beast" closes on Sunday, the center's next production is "Anansi the Spider." It opens Tuesday and continues through July 22. This show, about a cunning and mischievous spider, will be presented by the Tears of Joy Theatre of Portland, Ore.

From July 24 through Aug. 5, "Pinocchio" will be performed. This tale of a wooden boy who wants to become real is a production of the National Marionette Theatre of Newfane, Vt.

"The Legend of the Banana Kid," which is about a Western town overrun by outlaws, will come to the center Aug. 7-19. It will be performed by the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers of Bar Harbor, Maine.

Showtimes for these three mainstage theater productions are 10 a.m. and noon Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for each show are $16, and also include a puppet workshop and admission to the museum.

The Center for Puppetry Arts is located at 1404 Spring St. in Atlanta. Call 404-878-3391 or visit www.puppet.org.

Shakespeare Tavern show

Then again, perhaps your kids are away at camp and you're looking for something to do yourself. Consider catching up on a little classic theater with the "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)." The show, which opened Thursday, will continue through Aug. 5 at the New American Shakespeare Tavern, located at 499 Peachtree St. in Atlanta.

Performed by three actors, the show offers an overview of Shakespeare's 37 plays and 154 sonnets in about an hour and a half. "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" stars Tony Brown, Andrew Houchins and Paul Hester.

The play will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The tavern, which has a menu of pub food and serves beer and wine, opens an hour and 15 minutes before each performance.

Tickets for "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" range in price from $12 to $32, depending on performance time and seat location. Call 404-874-5299 or visit www.shakespearetavern.com.