Outdoor Halloween Dance Party
The Lobero Theatre is thrilled to announce Mischief Masquerade – Outdoor Halloween Dance Party on Saturday, October 30 at 8 PM, featuring DJ Scott Topper from K-LITE 101.7! Join us, if you dare, for a magical evening of revelry under the stars, including an exciting costume contest, specialty spirits, ghoulish delights, and spooky surprises! Distinguished judges John Palminteri from News Channel 3, Teresa Kuskey Nowak from La Boheme Dance, and Tracy Beard of Solvang Chamber of Commerce will award prizes to the scariest, funniest, and most original costumes.
A century after the end of the last massive pandemic, Americans are ready for a new Roaring '20s. We’ve waited more than a year and a half for live events to re-emerge, and there is a deep longing for camaraderie and a sense of feeling fully alive again. After most social gatherings were cancelled last year, Mischief Masquerade offers the Santa Barbara community the opportunity to finally let loose, express themselves, and safely celebrate this much-anticipated holiday in style. Staff members have decided to honor this relevant motif by dressing up in classic Roaring 20’s apparel to greet their exuberant costumed patrons.
Although most Americans have no official name for Halloween Eve, the northeast term Mischief Night seems quite appropriate, since the occasion also honors the prank component of the phrase “trick or treat.” Halloween holds a special place in the history of the Lobero, as it commemorates the birthday of Lutah Maria Riggs, Santa Barbara’s first female licensed architect. Riggs brought a fresh take to the established architectural styles of Southern California, and contributed significantly to several building designs of George Washington Smith – the early 20th century noted Spanish Revival architect. Her design of some of our most iconic structures, including our beloved theater, cemented her role as a true Santa Barbara treasure. The Lobero has stood on its current location for almost 150 years, racking up thousands of live performances. With more than a century of passion and energy materializing on the same stage, the theater seems like an ideal playground for spirits and unexplained phenomena.
Death on the stage is as old as the history of theater, but the real thing – when an actor dies during a performance – is as rare as it is shocking. One of the most famous, and ironic, real-life onstage deaths occurred at the Lobero on April 1, 1938 – during Clifford Odet’s West Coast premiere of Golden Boy, directed by Stella Adler. The theater was sold out and the audience included a number of newspaper reporters who were eager to review the smash Broadway comedy. The curtain went up and everything went smoothly until the second act – when actor Joseph Greenwald (in the role of Mr. Bonaparte) uttered his lines “I waited for this moment all my life,” then collapsed from a heart attack and died onstage in the arms of his fellow cast members. (For more details of this story and other juicy historic tidbits, check out the Lobero’s “Intermission” archives at https://www.lobero.org/intermission/.)
One of the supernatural beings most commonly encountered at the Lobero is former stagehand and night watchman, Harry Pideola. Harry took care of the theater, swept up, locked the doors, and even helped with some stage operations back during Prohibition. He lived – and died – in an old dressing room upstairs that was made into an apartment for him. Although Harry passed away in the theatre years ago, his ghost continues to make his presence known to staff here alone after dark – stomping around or playing tricks. Another apparition who often visits the auditorium is the ghost of Dr. Frank Fowler – founder of Santa Barbara’s first community theater, the Alhecama Theatre, in the late ’40s. Frank’s ghost has been known to turn up in the crowd or wings of the stage in his top hat and tails, perhaps longing to revel in the theater’s festivities. Who knows… maybe these enthralling spirits will join us this Halloween Eve?!
Tickets for Mischief Masquerade are on sale now at Lobero.org and at the Lobero Box Office 805.963.0761. Tickets: $50 (includes 1 drink ticket), $65 (includes Lobero steel pint cup + 2 drink tickets). Must be 21+, show ID & valid vaccination. Ticket prices include a per ticket Lobero Facility Fee; other fees may also apply.