13 Theatrical Treats for Halloween
The Addams Family, Wicked, Nightmare: Superstitions, (un)afraid, Nevermore, and The Village Halloween Costume Ball are among the chilling and thrilling attractions being presented in October.
The Addams Family (Lunt-Fontanne Theater, open run)
Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth head the cast of this Broadway musical, based on the iconic characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams. The show revolves around the romance of a teenage Wednesday Addams (Krysta Rodriguez), 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.
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 (Mandy Gonzalez), her friendship and rivalry with the popular Glinda the Good (Katie Rose Clark), and her devotion to making the troubled land of Oz a better place for all.
Kids Night on Broadway (Various locations, October 31)
A special costumed Kids' Night on Broadway will be held on October 31, starting with a pre-theater Halloween party from 11am to 2pm at Madame Tussauds. Adam Riegler, who plays the role of Pugsley in The Addams Family, serve as the "national ambassador" for the program, which lets kids ages 6 to 18 in to see Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult.
This year's edition of the popular immersive haunted house experience is set inside an insane asylum. To proceed, you must break a superstition in one room and then suffer the consequences in the next! (Special "Kids Day" performances are offered October 23 and 30.)
Haunted House (115 W. 27th Street, through October 31)
No one under 18 is admitted to Vortex Theater's experiential horror attraction in which each participant must walk through a pitch-black maze alone. Patrons are given a protective face-mask and small flashlight, and then must spend the next 20 minutes confronting such basic fears as complete darkness, tight spaces, and other spooky situations.
HalloWHOA! (Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, October 15-31)
The Story Pirates present a kid-friendly interactive haunted house in which participants must solve puzzles to move through the maze -- and also determine just how silly or spooky the experience will be! All proceeds benefit the Story Pirates' literacy programs in low-income schools.
Barring the Unforeseen (IRT, October 26-31)
Acclaimed solo performer Mike Daisey debuts a new monologue that explores why we tell ghost stories, and the precious, terrifying gifts they bring us. In the performance, he weaves together ghost stories from his childhood with the history of spiritualism, H.P. Lovecraft's tortured life, and the unspeakable dread lurking under your bed.
St. Nicholas (Irish Repertory Theatre, October 15-November 21)
Vampires seem to be all the rage these days, so now is the perfect time to present another production of Conor McPherson's modern-day Gothic tale, in which a jaded and cynical Dublin drama critic comes under the spell of a beautiful young actress and pursues her into a coven of those blood-thirsty creatures.
(un)afraid (The Living Theatre, October 14-November 6)
The New York Neo-Futurists' horror show celebrates and examines the concept, causes and consequences of fear, both in our society and in ourselves. Each night will be different as the Neos attempt to summon a different guest spirit -- such as deceased masters of horror Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, and Mary Shelley -- for the performance.
Poe is also celebrated in this production (recommended for ages 11 and up) that uses haunting song, poetic storytelling and surreal imagery to explore the events that shaped his career and ignited his lifelong battle with "visions dark and sinister."
The Halloween Plays (Brave New World Repertory Theatre, October 21-31)
This evening of original one-acts includes the psycho noir comedy Salsa by Tony Award winner Greg Kotis; Austin McCormick's neo-baroque murder mystery Dénouement; and the spooky fairy tale Too Much Candy, by Cynthia Babak.
Halloween Hullabaloo (Laurie Beechman Theatre, October 28 and 29)
This musical comedy revue features a cauldron full of spooky songs and scary skits by Jennifer Winegardner. The cast includes Elyse Beyer, Hector Coris, Lexie Dorsett, Jeff Horst, and Allison Maldonado.
This annual event is part theater, and all party. Scheduled performers include Penny Arcade, comedy duo Epstein and Hassan, and Bina Sharif. There will also be big-band orchestras, stilt dancers, jugglers, fire-eaters, Vaudeville playlets, burlesque performers, and much more. Costume or formal wear is required, with all revelers invited to march past a panel of celebrity judges during the Midnight "Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade" with categories ranging from "Most Magickal" to "Most Tweeted" and "Most fed up flight attendant."