"I will go and tend my geese! I will, I will, I will!" screamed the Mayor's daughter wearing a goose-girl costume. Usually, she was a polite, pampered child, but ever since her father threw a Christmas Eve party for all of the children in the city, she behaved like the costume she was wearing. In fact, all of the children were behaving like the costumes dictated. Paupers were princes and the privileged performed farm chores.
This was the doings of a strange little Costumer who suddenly appeared several weeks before the party in "The Christmas Masquerade," by Mary Wilkins Freeman. No matter how hard parents tried to undress their children, the costumes would not be removed. Will the Mayor's daughter be forever a shepherdess and the cobbler's son a prince?
This tale is one of two stories that are part of the repertoire of the "Ghosts of Christmas Past" Trolley Rides, co-sponsored by The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC) and the award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company. The other story is based on Frank R. Stockton's "Old Applejoy's Ghost," where a lonely man once more realizes the true meaning of Christmas, through the work of his niece who meets an unusual apparition. Both have been adapted for storytelling by Gayle Stahlhuth.
Listen to these classic American ghostly tales, told in a dark trolley, while the twinkling lights of the beautifully decorated homes and streets are seen through the windows of the heated vehicle.
Most of the "spirited" thirty-minute rides begin and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Tickets are only $10 for adults and $7 for children, ages 3-12, and run several nights a week through Sunday, December 30.
Once again, the main costumed storyteller is Frank Smith, who was the first person to portray Dr. Physick for MAC's tour of the Physick Estate, and has performed for ELTC in William Gillette's "Sherlock Holmes" and for "Tales of the Victorians," ELTC's popular storytelling event on the porches of B&Bs during the summer and fall.
Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling MAC at 884-5404. If tickets are available the day of the tour, they will be sold at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.
Meanwhile, on the mainstage of ELTC is "Louisa May Alcott's Christmas" adapted and performed by Gayle Stahlhuth, with only five shows left: Friday, Dec. 7, Saturday, Dec. 8, Sunday, Dec. 9, and Friday, Dec. 14 at 8:00 p.m., with a special 2:00 matinee on Saturday, Dec. 8. Save $3 on price of a ticket on Dec. 7 by bringing an item for the Food Closet, and $5 of every ticket sold on Dec. 14 will go to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Performance location is The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, where the company is in residence. Tickets are $25 for general admission; $15 for students; and ages 12 and under are always free. For information or reservations: 884-5898 or on the web at www.eastlynnetheater.org. Season tickets for 2013 are also available.