I’ve been floating through the ornate halls of Mount Baker Theatre (MBT) since it opened in 1927. Everyone calls me Judy. I wouldn’t really say that I “haunt” the theater. I’m more of a friendly spirit. I putter through the dressing rooms and balcony and especially love seeing the joy and wonder of the children who visit.
My favorite holiday since becoming a ghost is by far April Fools’ Day. I simply can’t wait to try a brand new prank. Perhaps I’ll wander into one of the Education Program shows like “The Toad Prince” running from March 21-24. Oh, I must be able to play a silly prank with those wonderful puppets. Or maybe some trickery with the aviation set pieces for “Wings of Courage” that will be here March 27? Or perhaps I can tease one of the community groups that rent MBT for their performances? Luckily, the upcoming shows are already helping me come up with some new ideas.
“Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science” is coming to MBT on March 28. If you haven’t seen him before, his show mixes songs, a talk-show style, science and potentially dangerous food demonstrations to create a hilarious show for all ages. The show is a hoot and I can’t wait to see the audience crack up. I’m already getting new ideas for pranks from his blog. In his honor, I might switch the salt and sugar containers in the concession stand or find a way to add guinea pig to the menu.
On April Fools’ Day itself, April 1, the extraordinary “Houston Ballet: Season Tour” will be here! Of course, being the friendly ghost that I am, I would never jeopardize a performance with pranks, especially not the fourth largest company in America. There will be just too many excited people in the audience. Ballet is my favorite kind of show, except for the silent films of course, because it seems like the dancers can float just like me!
This company will perform excerpts from my favorite classic “The Sleeping Beauty” and also some contemporary works by their internationally-acclaimed Artistic Director and one of the world’s leading choreographers, Stanton Welch. I’ll have to save my new pranks for the volunteer ushers while they are setting up. Move some programs here. Lock a door there. Maybe I’ll even trick a few patrons during intermission.
I’m also getting some new ideas from good old Garrison Keillor. He’s one of America’s greatest storytellers and I love his calm, rye wit. I listen to this writer and humorist’s live radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” along with four million other listeners every week. He’ll be here in person April 9 and I just cannot wait to hear his next story live. His show has described many pranks and practical jokes over the years, including these ones in his “News from Lake Wobegon” that have given me lots of ideas for new things to try this year.
Of course, I will probably always play tricks on the staff, volunteers, patrons and performers of MBT all year long. But I’m most excited about the upcoming intriguing, quality shows that will inspire me during my next century as MBT’s friendly ghost.