Ben Folds, Arlo Guthrie, Irish Rovers highlight MBT season

Multi-platinum-selling singer, songwriter and producer Ben Folds performs Oct. 28 at Mount Baker Theatre.
Multi-platinum-selling singer, songwriter and producer Ben Folds performs Oct. 28 at Mount Baker Theatre. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

People can learn about Mount Baker Theatre’s shows for the 2016-2017 season, with the theme “Journeys: There’s a Whole Wide World in Here,” at a free open house from 2 to 5 p.m. July 24 at the theater, 104 N. Commercial St.

Guests can learn about subscriber packages, enjoy video and audio of upcoming performances, take guided tours, hear the pipe organ, and potentially win a series package of four shows. Young visitors can take part in face-painting in the dressing room, and other activities.

Refreshments will be for sale, and there will be a beer garden and local bookseller Village Books on-site. No reservations are required.

Note: no show tickets are on sale until July 24, except “The Capitol Steps,” which is on sale now.

Details: 360-734-6080, mountbakertheatre.com.

Season’s shows

Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m. The Capitol Steps: “What To Expect When You’re Electing,” $49.50, $45.50, $39.50, $30.50. Climb the steps of Capitol Hill in the company of the bipartisan troupe of ex-staffer comedians.

Oct. 9, 3 p.m.: Silent Films Series with Live Score: “Peter Pan” (1924), $22.50, $15.50, $10.50. The film underwent a complete restoration in 1995, and organist Dennis James was commissioned to restore the original score, which he will perform at the screening.

Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.: The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, $79.50, $69.50, $49.50, $39.50. Marsalis has created a new body of work beyond jazz for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet.

Oct. 18, 7 p.m.: MOMIX: “Opus Cactus,” $49.50, $44.50, $39.50, $20.50. The sparse and enchanting desert world of the American Southwest comes to life through the magic of the MOMIX dancers in the family-friendly escape.

Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.: Ben Folds, $49.50, $42.50, $37.50. The multi-platinum-selling singer, songwriter and producer first won acclaim as the frontman for alternative rock band Ben Folds Five. He is now enjoying solo success as a cross-genre pianist, singer and composer.

Nov. 4, 7 p.m.: “Once,” $69.50, $59.50, $49.50, $30.50. Winner of eight Tony Awards, “Once” is the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who is about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes interest in his haunting love songs.

Nov. 17, 7 p.m.: Jive Aces: “Jump, Jive and Wail,” $39.50, $35.50, $29.50, $17.50. Renowned for their dynamic jump, jive and swing music, the band’s repertoire stretches from the tunes of the swing era to the glitz of the Rat Pack, with a dash of rhythm and blues, pop and jazz.

Dec. 14, 7 p.m.: The Irish Tenors: “We Three Kings,” $69.50, $59.50, $49.50, $20.50. The trio performs standards from the Celtic repertoire and holiday fare from their best-selling Christmas CD.

Dec. 18, 3 and 7:30 p.m.: “Mamma Mia!,” $99.50, $89.50, $79.50, $40.50. The storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs propels a tale of love, laughter and friendship.

Jan. 8, 3 p.m. Silent Film with Live Score: “Hamlet” (1921), $22.50, $15.50, $10.50. The landmark in early cinema recasts Hamlet as a woman, starring international film star Asta Nielsen.

Jan. 15, 7 p.m.: The Time Jumpers, $79.50, $69.50, $49.50, $39.50. The multi-Grammy-nominated Time Jumpers features 10 country musicians: Vince Gill, “Ranger” Doug Green, Paul Franklin, Brad Albin, Larry Franklin, Andy Reiss, Kenny Sears, Joe Spivey, Jeff Taylor and Billy Thomas.

Jan. 18, 7 p.m.: “Fame,” $69.50, $59.50, $49.50, $30.50. Based on the 1980 smash hit film, follow the hopes and ambitions of the final class of New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts from auditions to graduation.

Jan. 26, 7 p.m.: Jesse Cook, $49.50, $39.50, $29.50, $20.50. The Paris-born, Toronto-raised guitarist blends flamenco and jazz.

Feb. 3, 7 p.m.: Shaolin Warriors, $39.50, $35.50, $25.50, $20.50. Kung fu masters bring skill, movement, and martial arts prowess to the stage.

Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m.: “One Night of Queen” performed by Gary Mullen and The Works, $45.50, $39.50, $29.50, $20.50. Mullen’s imitation of icon Freddie Mercury features such mega-hits as “We are the Champions,” “Under Pressure,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.: International Guitar Night with Luca Stricagnoli, Chrystian Dozza and Debashish Bhattacharya, $39.50, $35.50, $25.50, $20.50. Founded by guitarist Brian Gore, International Guitar Night is one of North America’s premier touring guitar festivals, featuring solos, duets and quartets.

Feb. 26, 7 p.m.: The Irish Rovers with We Banjo 3, $49.50, $42.50, $39.50, $20.50. The Rovers’ “Long Goodbye” tour pays proper farewell to those they have entertained through the decades, with signature tunes like “The Unicorn” and “Drunken Sailor.” They’re joined by We Banjo 3, who mix Irish music with old-time American and bluegrass influences.

March 12, 3 p.m.: “The Pirates of Penzance,” $69.50, $59.50, $49.50, $30.50. Join the theatrical band of buccaneers, bumbling British bobbies, frolicsome Victorian maidens and the delightfully dotty “model of a modern Major-General” for a rollicking romp over the rocky coast of Cornwall, performed by the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players.

March 18, 7:30 p.m.: “Ladies of Laughter Funny & Fabulous,” with Stephanie Blum, Dana Eagle and Alycia Cooper, $39.50, $35.50, $29.50, $20.50. Blum is a multiple comedy award-winner whose irreverence is offset by her background as a psychologist and parent; Eagle has appeared on the “Late, Late Show,” “Comedy Central,” and “Comics Unleashed;” and Cooper has brought her take-no-prisoners comedy assault to many TV shows and national appearances.

March 28, 7 p.m.: Alton Brown Live: “Eat Your Science,” $89.50, $79.50, $69.50, $40.50. With this follow-up to the “Edible Inevitable” tour, Brown mixes multimedia presentations, talk-show antics and potentially dangerous food demonstrations.

April 1, 7:30 p.m.: Houston Ballet II, $49.50, $39.50, $29.50, $20.50. The touring division of America’s fourth-largest ballet company performs a range of works that includes excerpts from classics like “The Sleeping Beauty” and “Swan Lake,” as well as contemporary works by artistic director and choreographer Stanton Welch.

April 9, 3 p.m.: Garrison Keillor, $67.50, $57.50, $39.50, $29.50. Co-sponsored by Village Books, the “Booked at the Baker” artist has published more than two dozen books and made his captivating voice a part of people’s daily lives in his radio variety show, “A Prairie Home Companion.”

April 20, 7 p.m.: Arlo Guthrie: “Running Down the Road” Tour, $42.50, $39.50, $35.50, $30.50. Guthrie and his band celebrate the best of the late ’60s and early ’70s, on the heels of the sold-out “Alice’s Restaurant” 50th anniversary tour.

May 14, 3 p.m.: Silent Film with Live Score: “Ben-Hur” (1925), $22.50, $15.50, $10.50. The universal themes of the fight against oppression and spiritual redemption are the source of this film, which cost roughly $4 million to produce in 1925, or 20 times the average MGM release, and includes the famous chariot race scene, the product of 200,000 feet of shot film from 42 cameras. The film is accompanied by live sound from MBT’s pipe organ.

May 18, 7 p.m.: The Midtown Men, $59.50, $49.50, $39.50, $20.50. The production reunites four stars from the original cast of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” – Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer – in a concert celebrating the music that defined the ’60s, from The Beatles, The Four Seasons, Motown and more.

Margaret Bikman: 360-715-2273, @bhamentertainme