Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Super Spooky Horror Recommendations

BareBones Halloween Extravaganza
Photo by Max Haynes
Friends, it's the most wonderful time of the year (if you like horror and theater). But there's a LOT to get to. We have a lot of recommendations and only a few spooky days left!

Don't panic, though! Just listen to the Super Spooky Special Edition of Twin Cities Theater Chat Recommends. Unless you're too scared! Also, listen, subscribe, tell a friend, yada yada!

We talk about the Twin Cities Horror Festival, comedy shows, cabarets and concerts, why this is clearly the year of the puppet, and strategize plans for staying up for late night shows.

And since there's not enough room on our Podcast Show Notes, here's a list of what we talked about AND a few late additions!


Twin Cities Horror Festival - October 19-29 at the Crane Theatre
Eleven days featuring a wide range of onstage horror. Whether you prefer historical hauntings, contemporary creepers, troubling true crime, spooky songs, gruesome gore, freakish funniness, or, like us, you love ALL OF IT, this festival is the perfect way to spend your Halloween season. 

The shows are under an hour, and you can see several in an evening. Make a night of it! Are you a bit of a scaredy cat? Check out their very helpful website, which includes ratings, age suggestions, content warnings, and genre info. AND check out our Twin Cities Theater Chat episode with Duck Washington, Executive Director, and Nissa Nordland Morgan, Artistic Director of the TCHF!

Ghost Quartet - October 19-28 at Theatre Elision
Ghost Quartet is a song cycle about love, death and whiskey from Dave Malloy. "A camera breaks and four friends drink in an interwoven tale spanning seven centuries, with a murderous sister, a treehouse astronomer, a bear, a subway, and the ghost of Thelonious Monk. The story draws from several fairy tales and "ghost stories", including Snow White and Rose Red, Edgar Allen Poe's Fall of the House of Usher, and One Thousand and One Nights (commonly known as Arabian Nights)."

Spookley the Square Pumpkin - October 6-29 at Stages Theatre
Looking for a Halloween show for the whole family? "Spookley, who is teased for being the only square pumpkin on Holiday Hill Farm, doesn’t believe a square pumpkin could ever win ‘Pick of 
the Patch’. But when a storm hits, he is the only one who can save the day! With the help of his friends, Spookley learns that what makes him different is what makes him special." And isn't that a lesson we all should remember? ;)

Alpha Moon: A Monster Musical in One Act by Gnarly Bard Theatre Company - October 20-29 at Gremlin Theatre
"There are monsters in the deep, dark woods! Are you one of the monsters? If people call you a monster long enough, will you start to believe them? With original songs and music, with werewolves and other creatures of the deep dark woods, this is a show about those we accept into our community and those we shun."

The Haunted Avalon: A Puppet Theatre Showcase - October 26-30 at The Avalon Theater – home to In the Heart of The Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre
A series of Halloween-themed cabarets. "Join emcees Harry Waters, Jr. and Orren Fen for an evening of kooky, spooky puppetry and live music as six teams of puppetry artists revisit Halloween, Heart of the Beast-style. Enjoy vignettes that employ a range of puppetry techniques including toy theater, shadow puppetry, and marionettes. Prepare yourself for some PG13-rated thrills and chills – BWA HA HA!" 

The Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza by BareBones Productions - October 27, 28, 29, and 31 on the Midtown Greenway
"Since 1994, BareBones Productions has presented a community-created spectacle pageant of larger-than-life puppetry, drama, stilting, dance, fire, song, and music that honors the circle of life by celebrating its seasonal arc of death in the Fall."

Trippy Triptych Vol. 1: Blacklight by Phantom Chorus Theatre - November 3, 10, 17 at Bryant Lake Bowl
Rating: recommended for ages 12 and up. "A collection of three stories told through the art of puppetry and physical theatre, entirely in blacklight: a psychedelic electronica musical from another world, a dark fable about love and loss, and a morning routine disrupted by the surreal. See it the first three 
weekends in November at the Bryant Lake Bowl and Theater!"

The Thin Place - November 10-December 3 at Gremlin Theatre
"A spine-tingling, “Twilight Zone” evening of theater. Everyone who ever died is still here, just in a different part of here. Linda can communicate with them. And if you believe, she can make you hear them, too — in the thin place, the fragile boundary between our world and the other one. With acuity and relentless curiosity, Lucas Hnath’s play transforms the theater into something else… crafting an unnerving testament to the power of the mind, which has a mind of its own."


Creature Feature - Fridays at 7:30 through October 27 at Huge Improv Theater
"HUGE’s longest-running show – an improvised monster movie that takes a never-before-seen monster from the audience and explores the tropes of the monster/slasher films that we all grew up jumping from and laughing at." 

Twilight Zone - Saturdays at 10:00 through November 4 at Huge Improv Theater
"This is not a place in itself, but a passageway between places. It is that which cannot be described or explained, only felt and seen as the hairs on your arms rise inexplicably. It is place we call….The 
Twilight Zone. Join us for two back to back, entirely improvised episodes based on Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone." 

Spooky and Gay - October 25 at Phoenix Theater
"Direct from an Off-Broadway run: Spooky and Gay is a queer horror variety fantasia featuring original scary stories, songs and stand-up performed in total darkness — like Goosebumps, only GAYER! Written & performed by award-winning Florida performing artist, Bruce Ryan Costella."

Monster Science Halloween Monsterpalooza - October 26-28 at Bryant Lake Bowl
"Rev Matt is joined by a murderer’s row of top-flight local talent for a Halloween monster extravaganza! A different show every night! 
Thursday: A horror monster variety show with Brad Erickson, Angela Fox, Heather Meyer, Hedy Rand-McKay, Tim Uren, Irene Weinhagen, and special muppet guest stars!
Friday: The music and comedy of the extraordinary Jen Scott, plus special guests!
And Saturday: A deep dive into one of the most acclaimed of all old-time radio shows, and one of the best monster stories of the 20th century, with Eric Webster of the Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society! BE THERE!"
"The Halloween Horror Classic returns for one night only! On 10/28, discover if love is possible for...a monster with a heart of gold. Improv comedy at its finest and most serious

Concerts and Cabaret

Musical Monster Therapy at Can Can Wonderland - October 19 (Smartmouth Comedy)
"This spooky season, we're getting into what really scares all of us, our feelings! But this time, we're hearing from the monsters who have spent their careers scaring us. Join us for a night of musical hilarity as the classic monsters share their innermost feelings through the power of song!

Monstrous Melodies Cabaret - October 20, 26 at Crooners Supper Club
"Before the cavalcade of winter holiday shows begin, ’tis time Halloween gets its due! Come, music enthusiast mortals, join our haunted venue and experience a brew of bewitchingly obscure and frightfully forgotten vintage tunes (with a pinch of standards ) crooned, shrieked and howled by a concoction of the Cities’ most popular monsters. Costumes, beguiling, outrageous or understated, are encouraged. With Dan Chouinard, Prudence Johnson, Dane Stauffer, John Pescitelli, and Daniel Andersen."

Leslie’s Halloween Extravaganza - October 21 at Granada Theater
"Join Leslie Vincent & the Vibes for an evening of jazzy intrigue, murder ballads, and other sinister songs. Here she explores the more macabre side of music, with original songs and spooky covers to get you in the Halloween spirit. Featuring Ted Godbout on keys, Matt McIntyre on bass, Ben Ehrlich on drums, and Mitch Van Laar on trumpet."

Erin, Dane and Jay: Halloween Cabooret - October 29 at Crooners Supper Club
"What better place to celebrate the spookiest of holidays than outside on a fall evening. So grab all of your friends and family and celebrate the spooky, kooky altogether ooky songs of Halloween, werewolves, spells, monsters and more. Erin Schwab vocals, Dane Stauffer vocals, and Jay Fuchs keys, vocals."

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE! Just heard about this amazing show!

"The Minnesota Orchestra will perform Michael Abels’ original soundtrack as writer-director Jordan Peele’s horror film plays on a screen above the stage. Led by Sarah Hicks, principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall, and accompanied by the sibling vocal group The Steeles, the Orchestra will perform composer Michael Abels’ original score while the film plays in high definition on a screen above the stage. The score, which Abels describes as “gospel horror,” prominently features the harp, and at times unusual percussion and string instrumentation. Accompanying the Orchestra will be the sibling group The Steeles, who will perform the vocal portion of Abels’ score, including the main title, “Sikiliza Kwa Wahenga” (Swahili for “listen to the ancestors”). 

A couple of random extras!

A Party To Die For at the Haunted Basement Bar - September 28 - November 4 at Travail
"Travail and the horrifically talented Haunted Basement have teamed up for another rendition of Haunted Basement Bar and this time, we’re throwing a dinner party with some unexpected hosts. Expect a gruesome multi-course tasting menu with tasty cocktails to match, in our decked out Basement Bar, complete with mayhem, scares, and delights to keep you entertained. Costumes encouraged!"

Real Haunted Tours Presents The Mounds Theatre - October Fridays and Saturday
"The Mounds Theatre has a strong history as a recognised haunted location, over the years there have been paranormal TV show episodes filmed there and professional and amateur investigations held there. On top of its haunted history, the Mounds Theatre has a historic one as well. In its lifetime it has functioned as a silent movie theatre & vaudeville stage, a warehouse and a children's arts venue."

Happy Halloweening and Theatergoing!