Final Performance Of His 78 Year Career!
By special request, ventriloquist dummy Mickey Baltz will be making his final, farewell appearance in Branson this Saturday night during the 8pm performance of the Hamner Barber Variety Show.
Mickey was hand carved in 1934 by magician and ventriloquist Howard Baltz and the duo performed together throughout the Midwest under the stage names “Howard Stone and Mickey Baltz.”
One year ago, the cute, wooden-headed character underwent a major transformation when Jim Barber was asked to perform a restoration of this 78 year old ventriloquist figure on behalf of the puppets real-life family.
All of the paint on Mickey’s face had to be sanded off and replaced with a fresh paint-job. The eyes were also hand-painted and many of the internal mechanisms that controlled the movements of Mickey’s face needed repair. The entire restoration process was documented on video and can be viewed in this Hamner Barber website article called Ventriloquist Jim Barber Breathes New Life Into Old Dummy.
Last July, after Mickey’s restoration was complete, the Baltz family traveled to Branson from their home near Kansas City to enjoy Mickey’s first performance in over 32 years since his original stage partner (and creator) Howard Baltz passed away. The family took Mickey back home with them after that performance and didn’t expect to see Mickey perform in public again.
Last April 2012, with permission from the Baltz family, Jim Barber enlisted the assistance of his new wooden friend Mickey to perform as part of a special Branson Centennial Celebration “Show Of The Century” held at the RFD-TV Theatre in commemoration of the past 100 years of Ozarks hospitality. Since that appearance, Mickey has been carefully stored at Jim’s home in Branson waiting for the arrival of the Baltz family to bring him back home once again.
This Saturday night (June 16, 2012), 20 members of the Baltz family including Mickey’s “Momma,” 94 year-old Clora Baltz, will be attending the Hamner Barber Variety Show to experience this final performance of their little, wooden “son” Mickey. It promises to be a special moment for all in attendance!