Thursday, October 28, 2010
It’s no secret that it’s easy to catch Michael Jackson’s full-length “Thriller” video this time of year.
But you’ve never seen “Thriller” like it’s being done these days at 2920 Pebble Lane.
Each night until Nov. 1, the Lawrence home of Lee and Mary Kay Howe lights up to a choreographed light-and-sound show set to dark favorites like “Thriller” and “Phantom of the Opera.”
The show starts at 6:30 p.m. and cycles through a handful of songs for each show, running until 10 p.m. The shows run back to back, and they don’t even disrupt the neighbors.
“I have it broadcasting through a radio station that I created, so it doesn’t have the music, so you have to listen to the car radio,” says Lee Howe of the show’s music.
The project started when Howe decided to throw his energy into a Christmas lights-and-music production. Once he got that designed and planned, Mary Kay suggested he come up with a Halloween display to fill the time until he could roll out his Christmas show. It was obviously a loving suggestion on her part, because it’s Mary Kay who’s assigned to a lot of the dirty work.
“I’m scared of heights. My wife, actually, had to go up the ladder and do the high points somehow,” Howe says. “She’s a co-conspirator.”
Howe says he’ll retire the show after Halloween and then descend to his “laboratory” — the basement — to do dry runs of the Christmas program, which he says is finished except for the hanging of the lights, which will be done in mid-November.
As much as Howe’s excited to start the Christmas shows, he’s also dreading the emptiness that will surely come when it’s all dark again at 2920 Pebble Lane.
“I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do because I’m really going to miss it. I really, really enjoy doing it,” he says. “I don’t know that I’ll do Valentine’s but I at least know I’ll do something about Christmas and Halloween.”