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13 Theatrical Thrills for Halloween

Among the attractions are The Addams Family, Nightmare: Fairy Tales, The Phantom of the Opera, Sleep No More, Sinderella Songs, Village Halloween Costume Ball and Wicked. logo
Jackie Hoffman, Rachel Potter, Zachary James, Roger Rees,
Brooke Shields, Brad Oscar and Adam Riegler
in The Addams Family
(© Jeremy Daniel)
In the mood for some Halloween fun? TheaterMania has 13 suggestions for intrepid theatergoers!

The Addams Family (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, through December 31)
Based on the bizarre and beloved family of characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, this Broadway musical comedy currently stars Roger Rees and Brooke Shields as Gomez and Morticia. The show revolves around the romance of a teenage Wednesday Addams (Rachel Potter), and what happens when she brings her young man's parents home to meet her rather unconventional family. Oh, and it features a singing and dancing chorus of ghosts.

BOO! Horror Festival (Players Theatre, through October 30)
This festival of short horror works winds up its three-week run with Horror Story by Jessica Frank; Hostages by Michael Long; Stoker & Wilde by Michael De Luca; and Vampires! A Rock Musical by Eric Fletcher.

Crypt Crawls: A Halloween Tour (Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, October 25-30)
In this guided tour through the Cathedral's crypt, you can learn the origins of Halloween as the Celtic New Year celebration and later transformation into All Hallows Eve. The Cathedral will also host a 2011 Halloween Extravaganza on October 28 that features a screening of the original 1925 film of Phantom of the Opera and a procession led by Ralph Lee and the Mettawee River Theater Company.

A Halloween Thriller (New York City Center, October 31)
Chita Rivera will host this gala event from Career Transition For Dancers, which showcases spine-tingling works in an array of styles from some of America's greatest dance companies and Broadway - woven together in a "spook-tacular" celebration of dance. Among the scheduled participants are Tony Award winners Bebe Neuwirth and Donna McKechnie, as well as Carmen DeLavallade, Judith Jamison, Lypsinka, Noah Racey, and Ne-Yo.

A scene from Nightmare: Fairy Tales
(© Jill Usdan)
Nightmare: Fairy Tales (Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, through November 5)
Psycho Clan presents its latest haunted house experience. This year's theme features the original versions of well-known (and some lesser known) fairy tales -- including Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Blue Beard -- at their most gruesome and horrific. In addition, Psycho Clan is also presenting Nightmare: Z-Day, a more traditional haunted house with a zombie theme, in the Bronx.

The Phantom of the Opera (Majestic Theatre, open run)
Now the longest running show on Broadway, this musical thriller is based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L'Opéra by Gaston Leroux, and features a legendary score by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. At the center of the plot is the hideously deformed title character (currently played by Hugh Panaro), who lurks beneath the stage of the Paris Opera, exercising a reign of terror over its occupants. Beware of falling chandeliers!

Poe, Times Two (Workshop Theatre Company, October 26-November 5)
Greg Oliver Bodine performs two of Edgar Allan Poe's classic stories of mystery and horror. "The Cask of Amontillado" features a Venetian nobleman narrating a chilling tale of revenge, while "The Black Cat" is delivered by a condemned man who speaks from his prison cell on the night before he is to be executed for the brutal murder of his wife.

Rockers on Broadway - Halloween Spooktacular (HA! Comedy Club, October 31)
Halloween-themed rock classics such as "Sympathy for the Devil," "The Acid Queen," "Witchcraft," "Thriller," and "Time Warp" are performed by a cast that includes such notables as Jarrod Emick, Felicia Finley, Cheryl Freeman, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Emma Hunton, Des McAnuff, and Billy Porter. The evening will also feature a costume contest presided over by a panel of all-star judges.

Sinderella Songs (St. Ann's Warehouse, October 25-29)
Alt-cabaret icons The Tiger Lillies team up with Tony nominee Justin Vivian Bond (best known as Kiki of Kiki and Herb fame) for this darkly comic and Halloween appropriate theatrical concert that tells the sordid tale of a twisted crack-whore and her abusive family. Bond and the Lillies will also perform some of their greatest hits.

A scene from Sleep No More
(© Alick Crossley)
Sleep No More (The McKittrick Hotel, through December 17)
This Macbeth-inspired interactive entertainment will present a week-long masquerade to celebrate Halloween. Each of the exclusive evenings is shaped by its own unique concept -- such as "The Darkest Shadow" where patrons dress in their blackest attire or "The Last Rendez-Vous", where audience members dress in film-noir formal. On Halloween night, the theme is "La Danse Macabre" in which patrons dress to terrify. The masquerades will feature special acts inside the venue, following regularly scheduled performances.

Steampunk Haunted House: Through the Looking Glass (Abrons Arts Center, through October 31)
Created by Bessie Award-winning artists of Third Rail Projects, this immersive haunted house experience takes audiences through some of the more terrifying aspects of Lewis Carroll's classic stories. Audience members are admitted in small groups, suddenly separated, and thrust into a dreamscape of neo-Victorian elegance and phantasmagoric clockwork horrors.

Village Halloween Costume Ball (Theatre for the New City, October 31)
Penny Arcade, The Bambi Killers, steve ben israel, Epstein and Hassan, John Grimaldi, and Zero Boy are among the performers scheduled to participate in this 35th annual downtown extravaganza. The event takes over all four of TNC's theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. Costume or formal wear is required.

Wicked (Gershwin Theatre, open run)
The Wicked Witch of the West has been completely misunderstood -- at least according to this revisionist Broadway musical, based on Gregory Maguire's popular novel. It tells the story of the green-skinned Elphaba (Jackie Burns), her friendship and rivalry with the popular Glinda the Good (Chandra Lee Schwartz), and her devotion to making the troubled land of Oz a better place for all.

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