My idea of a great Halloween show is a lot more It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown than … whatever horror movies are out right now. (Scream. Is Scream a thing? No, Ringu. See, I keep up.) And while I won’t be seeing most of this spook-fest, which ranges from festive spook-lite (my speed) to epically creepy, you can go scare yourself silly if you want.
Here are some shows for your seasonal entertainment this week and beyond.
(Note: this list will be updated as new shows are found. Updated 10/28 to add a Poe show in Renton, festivities at Copious and the Magic Hat, a discount code for ZinZanni, and a review link for the Can Can.)
From tame to chilling, this mix of Halloween-themed shows has something for everyone.
The Magic Hat, Rendezvous Grotto (10/28 only)
The Magic Hat series — an informal weekly storytelling gathering hosted by Emmett Montgomery and His Friends — always has some creepy potential, if only because it’s held in the basement of a historic (read: old and storied) Belltown haunt. (Read more about that here.) But when word got out that this week’s Magic Hat might feature a special costumed guest appearance by “an ancient and trembling wolf” — the chihuahua known as Donna — it seemed worthy of a special Halloween shout-out. Tickets $5 at the door, info here.
Seattle Radio Theatre Halloween: Sorry, Wrong Number, Town Hall (10/29 only)
Local radio personalities host a live broadcast of a 1940s radio show of crossed wires, in which a murder plot is revealed. Tickets $15, here.
This Is Halloween, Can Can Culinary Cabaret at the Triple Door (thru 10/31)
A slightly naughty riff on The Nightmare Before Christmas, this show is much more fun performance and glitzy stagecraft than spooky. Tickets $29-$49 (section and night dependent), here. See NWT’s review here.
Edgar Allen Poe, Carco Theatre (10/31 only)
In Renton, actor Bradford Farwell recreates a literary salon featuring varied presentations by the great writer. Tickets $10, here.
Halloween at Copious (10/31 only)
The Copious space in underground Ballard holds an all-ages happy hour of trick-or-treating (for kids and pets), and a bar for the grown-ups, followed by a costume party; later, it’s 21+ for the late-night party and karaoke. Tickets free, reserve here.
Beware the Terror of Gaylor Manor, ACT Theatre (thru 11/2)
A creation of drag artist BenDeLaCreme features a company of comedy, dance, cabaret, and burlesque performers. Tickets $52, here.
Zombie Cheerleaders from Hell, Can Can Culinary Cabaret (thru 11/3)
For a Halloween show in the more traditional Can Can style — a slightly raunchy show and seasonal dining, in the dark but elegant cabaret under Pike Place Market — look no further than this one, with “spookalicious adornments, playfully scary characters, and delightfully frightful multimedia madness.” Tickets $40-$105 (depending on section, night and showtime), here.
Evil Dead: The Musical, Tacoma Little Theatre (thru 11/10)
An ’80s horror comedy about students turning into demons in the woods — turned into a musical. “Blood flies. Limbs are dismembered. Demons tell bad jokes … and all to music.” Tickets $27, here.
The Brothers Paranormal, Pork Filled Productions at Theatre Off Jackson (thru 11/16)
A rolling world premiere of a thriller about Thai brothers tracking paranormal activity in the Midwest, who arrive at the home of a Black family displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Produced in collaboration with the Mahogany Project and the Southeast Asia Center. Pork Filled, Seattle’s Asian American theatre company that grew out of a comedy troupe, consistently puts on interesting shows with an intense focus on top-quality stagecraft and design work. Tickets $15-$50 (sliding scale available to all), here.
Dracula, ACT Theatre (thru 11/17)
Playwright Steven Dietz, nationally acclaimed and a Seattle hometown favorite, adapted the classic work. Tickets $27-$107 (section dependent), here; pay-what-you-can rush available on Sunday nights, info here.
Violet’s Attic: A Grand Ball for Wicked Dolls, Café Nordo (thru 11/23)
Some really creepy-looking dolls have a tea party and serve up trippy, “mind-bending” foods, at Seattle’s dinner theatre standard. Tickets $69-$89 (depending on night) here, includes four-course meal; drinks and tip extra.
These aren’t Halloween shows at all — but they feel like seasonally appropriate fun anyway.
The Rocky Horror Show, Bainbridge Performing Arts (thru 10/27)
If you want to do the Time Warp, you’ll have to get there fast — it closes tonight, unfortunately. Tickets $29, here.
(If you miss this pre-Halloween one, you can mark your calendars for Burien Actors Theatre’s production next year.)
The Thanksgiving Play, Seattle Public Theater (thru 11/16)
SPT might be getting ahead of itself with The Thanksgiving Play that opens before trick-or-treating starts and ends before the turkey carving, but this modern play looks like a funny dive into “woke” culture alongside American colonialism. Tickets $39, here.
A Night Like This, Teatro ZinZanni (thru 2/9/2020)
If you’re looking for a non-spooky, grown-up reason to dress up — Halloween makes for a great excuse to get festive at Teatro ZinZanni. Apparently, the crowd and festivities are even more lively than usual. Tickets $99-$169 (section dependent) here, includes four-course meal; drinks, add-ons, and some fees extra. Discount alert: want to catch the show on Halloween? General admission tickets for 10/31 are available for just $60 with special code spooky.
Chase D. Anderson is Editor & Producer of NWTheatre.org.