Theater for the New City’s annual Halloween festivities are a bona fide New York tradition—the annual Halloween Parade was a spinoff from them—and the East Village cultural center isn’t going to let the real-life horrors of 2020 prevent that from continuing.
Most of the many offerings become available starting at 2pm, except for the live-streamed “Chop Shop Theater” at 7:30pm (see below) and a "Late Night Naughty Halloween" at 8pm (with a lineup that features F. Murray Abraham). Performers in the main “Cabaret” section include Everett Quinton, Austin Pendleton, Eduardo Machado, Phoebe Legere, Penny Arcade, Rome Neal, the Wycherly Sisters, Wise Guise, William Electric Black, Zero Boy and Bread and Puppet Theater. Other offerings include a “Womb Room” of novelty acts, a costume contest, ballroom music, radio plays, a kids’ section and a screaming competition hosted by Lissa Moira.
In addition to a panoply of virtual offerings, TNC is offering an in-person element that it is calling “Chop Shop Theater.” Robert Gonzales emcees a collection of 10-minute plays in what is normally the building’s set shop, which spectators can watch through an accordion gate, from spots marked for social distancing. Audiences are encouraged to stay for only one playlet to allow more people to watch. (The entire thing will also be streamed live.)