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Unlucky 13 Shows to See for Halloween

By: Raven Snook
Date: Oct 20, 2023

Whether you want a fun night or fright night, we've got you covered


Booyah! Halloween is almost here and there are lots of shows to help you get into the spirit of the spooky season. In honor of murderous meat pie maker Mrs. Lovett, we've rounded up a baker's dozen of thrilling performances. Some are scary while others are a real scream.

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Cyclops: A Rock Opera

The Tank, 312 West 36th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Runs October 20-November 3. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Proof of vaccination and masks are required.

What's the difference between a hero and a monster? That question is at the heart of this new tuner inspired by the tale of Odysseus and Polyphemus the Cyclops. After a smash run in LA, this mash-up of myth and rock music comes to NYC with a cast of powerhouse performers, including Broadway's Eric William Morris (King Kong) as Odysseus, Freestyle Love Supreme's Aneesa Folds as Dionysus and Aladdin alum Korie Lee Blossey as the misunderstood one-eyed brute. Can't make it in person? The show is also available to live-stream.


Days of the Dead Festival

The Kraine Theater, 85 East 4th Street between Bowery and Second Avenue in the East Village
Under St. Marks Theater, 94 St. Marks Place between First Avenue and Avenue A in the East Village

Runs October 20-November 2. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account and search for Days of the Dead to purchase discount tickets to select performances.

Celebrate Halloween and Día de los Muertos at FRIGID New York's second annual Days of the Dead festival featuring spine-tingling performances at two East Village theatres. Eerie one-acts, creepy cabarets, murderous musicals and a special holiday concert by acclaimed Mexican songwriter Jaime Lozano are just some of the fearsome fun in store. Can't make it in person? Most shows are also available to live-stream.


I Put a Spell on You: The Witches ERA

Sony Hall in the Paramount Hotel Times Square, 235 West 46th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in Midtown West

Runs October 23

As he does every October, Broadway scene-stealer Jay Armstrong Johnson (Hands on a Hardbody, On the Town) resurrects the bewitching Sanderson Sisters from the cult classic Hocus Pocus for a high-camp Halloween performance. Johnson (in the Bette Midler role) and his sorceress siblings played by Allison Godleski and Amanda Williams Ware are throwing a party and you're invited alongside special guest stars Justin Cooley (Kimberly Akimbo), Drew Gehling (Waitress, Almost Famous), Taylor Iman Jones (SIX), Robyn Hurder (Moulin Rouge!, A Beautiful Noise), RuPaul's Drag Race alum Marcia Marcia Marcia, Heath Saunders (Company) and Talia Suskauer (Wicked). Come ready to howl and werk. Proceeds benefit the Ali Forney Center, which serves unhoused LGBTQ+ youth. Can't make it in person? A recording of the evening will be available to watch Halloween weekend on BroadwayHD.


Exorcistic: The Unauthorized Rock Musical Parody of The Exorcist

The Box, 189 Christie Street between Rivington and Stanton Streets on the Lower East Side

Runs through October 23. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

The terrifying tale of a possessed and puking tween gets the musical parody treatment with Exorcistic, an outrageous, fluid-filled take on the 1973 horror classic. Backed by a live band, Orgasmico Theatre Company's irreverent, rock 'n' roll romp spoofs and celebrates one of the scariest movies of all time. 21 and up only!


Nosferatu, A 3D Symphony of Horror

Live-streaming to at-home audiences

Runs October 27-31

Obie-winning theatre-maker Joshua William Gelb and his endlessly innovative Theater in Quarantine live-streams a digital reimagining of the legendary 1922 horror flick Nosferatu—the one with the scary (not sexy) vampire. A high/low-tech experience, this terrifying tale evokes old midnight movies with handcrafted puppets, retro design and throwback 3D effects.


Company XIV: Seven Sins

Théâtre XIV, 383 Troutman Street between Wyckoff and Irving Avenues in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Runs through October 31

Since 2006, Company XIV has been seducing audiences with NC-17-rated spectacles featuring an intoxicating blend of circus, live music, magic, burlesque and specialty cocktails. The troupe's latest extravaganza, Seven Sins, closes on Halloween and the final performances are billed as Dance with the Devil nights that promise an extra dose of fabulous, forbidden fun. 21 and up only.


Elsa Lanchester: She's Alive!

Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe, 407 West 42nd Street between Ninth and Dyer Avenues in Midtown West

Runs through November 3

Best remembered for her turn as the Bride of Frankenstein, character actress Elsa Lanchester had a long and illustrious career that included two Oscar nominations. Late in life, she toured an outré cabaret featuring risqué songs, backstage tales and anecdotes about her unconventional marriage to Charles Laughton. In honor of Halloween, Charlotte Booker recreates the horror icon's outrageous evening. Note: There is a $25 food and drink minimum in addition to the ticket price.


SAW The Musical: The Unauthorized Parody of Saw

AMT Theater, 354 West 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Runs through June 23, 2024. If you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase discount tickets.

Another parody musical of a landmark horror movie, SAW injects songs and comedy into the tale of the Jigsaw Killer who toys with his victims as they try to escape the bathroom trap. Expect lots of belting, brutality and bodily fluids.


Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors

New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in Midtown West

Runs through January 7, 2024.

Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen's pop culture- and pun-filled spin on Bram Stoker's classic tale trades horror for humor as five actors sink their teeth into dozens of roles, with James Daly playing a pansexual, playboy Dracula grappling with an existential crisis. Greenberg also directs this gender-bending, quick-changing romp, which is a vampy, campy riot.


All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain

DR2 Theatre, 103 East 15th Street between Union Square East and Irving Place near Union Square Park

Runs through March 31, 2024

Hadestown Tony nominee Patrick Page is known for playing villains—The Green Goblin, The Grinch and Scar are just a handful of his wicked Broadway turns. But with his mellifluous voice and classical acting training, he's also portrayed many of the Bard's baddies, including Iago and Macbeth. In his tour-de-force solo show All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain, Page explores the playwright's poetic evolution of evil by performing more than a dozen of his vicious characters. A maleficent master class.


Sleep No More

The McKittrick Hotel, 530 West 27th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in Chelsea

Closes March 31, 2024

Punchdrunk's long-running Sleep No More is the show that kicked off the immersive theatre craze in NYC and it's still the gold standard. Put on your mask and meander through a glorious abanoned hotel for this interactive retelling of Macbeth that's equally thrilling and chilling. 18 and up only.


Sweeney Todd

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 West 46th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue in Midtown West

Open run

Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's bloody great musical about a vengeful barber and his resourceful paramour is a murderous masterpiece. Josh Groban, who plays the blade-wielding title character, and Annaleigh Ashford, who's a horrifyingly hoot as amoral pie shop owner Mrs. Lovett, just announced they're leaving in January, so this is the only Halloween to catch these spine-chilling superstars.


Little Shop of Horrors

Westside Theatre Upstairs, 407 West 43rd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Midtown West

Open run

High School Musical's Corbin Bleu and Constance Wu from Crazy Rich Asians are currently starring in this lauded revival of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's beloved and bloody musical. Sure, a manipulative, man-eating plant is hilarious but it's also pretty horrible if you think about it. You'll probably be laughing too hard to dwell on the morality of it all.


Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her on Facebook at @Raven.Snook. Follow TDF on Facebook at @TDFNYC.