155 First Avenue
East Village, NY 10003
Description: Nonstop theater, a costume competition and ballroom dancing will bewitch the East Village in Theater for the New City's 35th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on Monday, October 31 at TNC, 155 First Avenue. This unique festival continues as a grand coming-together for everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. A carefree fall tradition, it celebrates the creativity that comes with the season. The one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC's theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. Customarily over 1,400 wildly-clad celebrants gather for dancing, dining, showing off costumes and viewing acts from the cutting-edge of Cabaret and Theater. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required.
Big-Band Dance orchestras take over the large Johnson Theater. These will inclue Maquina Mono (The Monkey Machine) and Hot Lavendar Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra. The Johnson Theater will also have aerial acts by Constellation Moving Company and Suspended Cirque.
With its Witches' Cauldron, the event can justifiably claim to have downtown's most sensational Halloween cafe. The Community Theater of TNC becomes an atmospheric grande buffet for the event, with a variety of American and international delicacies available at peoples' prices. Holiday dishes are contributed by neighboring East Village restaurants, some with celebrity chefs. You can gobble couscous from a coffin lid beginning at 7:30 pm while enjoying spine-tingling performances by performance artists, songwriters, poets and variety artists including Evan Laurence, Arthur Abrams, George Bellici, Norman Savitt, Richard West, Ellen Steier, Peter Dizozza and Gary Height. The space is designed by Donald L. Brooks with lightig design by Alexander Bartenieff.
Outside, there are bluegrass and jazz bandsincluding fire eaters, jugglers, storyweavers and stilt dancers, all free to the public and a gift from TNC to its neighborhood. Inside, there is theater all evening. The House of Horrors, designed and run by David Zen Mansley, will be a time machine in which travelers are put through a maze and duly horrified. At the Champagne Bar, libations will be served by vampire Richard Weber, who will awaken periodically for the task.
Since its beginning in 1977, TNC's Halloween extravaganza has been a point of origin for many of the City's most original entertainers. Six full-length plays have grown out of playlets written for the fest and it is probable that the theatrical movement in Performance Art began there. It has been a launching pad for such formative artists as Paul Zaloom, Alice Farley, Bloolips, The Red Mole, Penny Arcade, Basil Twist and Alien Comic Tom Murrin. It is also interesting to note TNC originated the Village Halloween Parade as part of its annual Halloween Ball. The procession wound its way through the Village from TNC's second home at the corner of Jane and West Streets to Washington Square Park. Now the event takes up every available inch (both floors) of TNC's multi-theater complex at 155 First Avenue (the former First Avenue Retail Market building) and adjoining outdoor spaces.
Doors open at 7:30 pm and indoor entertainment begins at 8:00 pm. There will be two continuously-running cabarets. Outdoor entertainment, free to the public, will start at 4:30 pm. Outdoor entertainment is capped by "The Red and Black Masque," an annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight.
Scattered through the event will be stilt dancers, jugglers, fire-eaters, Vaudeville playlets and Burlesque. Lobby attractions will include a Wiccan Psychic Reader, Astrology/Numerology, Astral Portraits, an Aura Reader, throwing of the I Ching and Hellsouls.
The entire facility will be elaborately rendered for Halloween, featuring intricate and massive environments by leading theatrical scenarists, sculptors, and artists including Donald L. Brooks, Alexander Bartenieff, Mark Marcante, David Zen Mansley, Candice Burridge, Pamela Mayo, Desiree Conston, Viviane La Corte, Adriano Moraes and Terry Ferrari. Costume design is by Susan Gittins. The audience will pass through walls decorated by 17 muralists. The annual costume judging begins at midnight with the "Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade," as all revelers are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judges. Winners in twelve individual categories will receive one-year passes to TNC and a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne. Attendees will be judged in such categories as "Most Magickal," "Most Botoxed," "Most Corporate Socialist" "Most Warren Buffeted," "Most Global-Warmed," "Most Untaxed Millionaire," "Most Tweetful," "Most Bailed Out," "Most Netflicked," "Most Hydrofracked," "Most Economically Recovered," "Most Tea-Potty," "Most Solar-Powered," "Most Outsourced," "Most Marc Jacobs," "Most Underprivileged," "Most Debt-Reduced" and "Most Drone-Attacked." Celebrity judges will include Bina Sharif, Misha Shulman, Jane Catherine Shaw, David Willinger, Garland Lee Thompson, John Gilman, Robert Heide, Rome Neal, Romiro Sandoval, Sabura Rashid, Chino Garcia and Crystal Field (Chief Justice). The performers' list, in formation as of this writing, includes: Penny Arcade, Mark Marcante, Andre Brown, The Love Show, Lissa Moira, The Bambi Killers, steve ben israel, Shane Baker, Liat Ron, Bob Dahdah, Len Alevante, Cobu Dance and Drum, Epstein and Hassan, Eve Packer, Joe Bendik, John Grimaldi (NY Lyric Circus), Kevin Martin, Zero Boy, Lei Zhou, Levanah (Belly Dance), the band Liv I Culture, Margo Lee Sherman, Michael Vazquez, Norman Savitt with Susan Mitchell, Paganini Apparition, Robert Fitzsimmons, Star 69, Michael Lee (Man of Magic), The Wycherly Sisters and TNC'S Street Theater Company. Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue, at the corner of East Tenth Street. Reservations are strongly recommended. The TNC box office number is (212) 254-1109.