The Chicago Reader, in its annual Best of Chicago issue, has chosen Evanston’s Michael Montenegro as the metro area’s best puppeteer.

The paper says the area’s most inventive puppets spring to life in a cluttered workshop behind Montenegro’s home.

It adds that he’s designed “marionettes, masks, and Rube Goldberg-esque devices” for a variety of theater companies, including “eerie, angular amphibians” for Next Theatre’s “War With the Newts” this spring.

The Reader says Montenegro performances with his own Theatre Zarko have included “a fierce struggle with a life-size, pissed-off dummy attached to him like a Siamese twin.”

And thanks to Evanston Now reader Emily Guthrie for tipping us to Montenegro’s honor.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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