The Maestro has spoken.

Leonard Bearstein and his all-furry, all-animatronic Symphony Orchestra were once a holiday fixture of the Shops of Grand Avenue, delighting and unnerving mall denizens in equal measure. But ever since the mall began its renovation/reimagining in 2018, Bearstein and his classically trained sleuth have been in hibernation mode. Now, in case you needed one more twist of the knife or one more kick to the head, Bearstein is here to remind us that he won’t be returning this holiday season, either. We figured. Thanks anyway, Leonard.

“It is with great disappointment, The Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra announces the cancellation of most of our scheduled 2020 Holiday Tour,” begins a Facebook message. “The ONLY appearance for us this season will be at Berkeley Mall in Goldsboro, NC. Those performances will be during regular mall hours and we look forward to seeing you there. The scheduled performances at Bank Of America Corporate Center in Charlotte, NC… Valley View Mall in Roanoke, VA… Southpark Mall in Colonial Heights, VA… & Grand Avenue Mall in Milwaukee, WI are all CANCELLED for the 2020 Season. We thank you for your continued support for over 20 years, at most of these locations, & we look forward to being back in 2021. – The Maestro.”

It’s unclear if the Maestro knows that his former Grand Ave. stomping grounds are currently being converted into the 3rd Street Market Hall, or that his last Milwaukee appearance was way back in 2017. Actually, we recall reaching out to Bearstein’s creator last year, and he, at least, seemed to be aware. We also recall reaching out to the operator of the 3rd Street Market Hall, and he told us Bearstein and company were in storage and that they may return in the future. Until then, stave off any Five Nights At Freddy’s-style nightmares of animatronic bears rotting away in a leaky basement with these videos. [h/t JK]

Oh, happier times.

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