Spine-Tingling Shows

Show-Score | By Raven Snook

The scariest productions slaying around town—just in time for Halloween.

Those creepy clowns aren't the only things haunting New York City these days. In honor of this macabre month, many theaters are mounting monstrous shows, from horror classics like 'Frankenstein' and 'Dracula,' to retro freaky fun like 'Kurios' and 'The Extraordinary Fall of the Four-Legged Woman.' And there are some long-running immersive spine-chillers, too, like 'Sleep No More' and 'Paradiso: Chapter 1.' Buy tickets now...if you dare!

Already closed

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities

Members say: Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Great staging, Absorbing
90
Critics
85
22 reviews
Members
90
132 reviews

Cirque du Soleil presents an eye-popping, steampunk-themed spectacle about a 19th-century inventor who creates a machine that can reshape time, space, and reality itself.

... Read more

'Kurios' plunges audiences into a mysterious and fascinating realm that disorients your senses and challenges your perceptions. Step into the curio cabinet of an ambitious inventor trying to reinvent the world him. Suddenly, the visible becomes invisible, perspectives are transformed, and the world is literally turned upside down. Expect the jaw-dropping circus acts the troupe is famous for paired with a whimsical, retro-futuristic aesthetic. Performed in the Grand Chapiteau, state-of-the-art big-top tent on Randall's Island.

 

Open run

Sleep No More

Members say: Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Original
86
Critics
83
16 reviews
Members
86
750 reviews

A unique award-winning theatrical event: a site-specific Macbeth-meets-Hitchcock performance piece by Britain's Punchdrunk.

... Read more

Running at the long-abandoned McKittrick Hotel on the extreme western edge of Chelsea, 'Sleep No More' is an adaptation of Macbeth. This piece of environmental theatre is comprised of an indoor promenade performance in which the audience walks at their own pace through a variety of theatrically designed rooms for up to three hours.

 

Ends Nov 12

Frankenstein the Musical

Members say: Great acting, Ambitious, Entertaining, Absorbing, Disappointing
64
Critics
-
0 reviews
Members
64
43 reviews

Be Bold! Productions revives its musical adaptation of Mary Shelley's horror classic. Obsession, desire, and ambition are explored through the eyes of a mad scientist and his ungodly creation.

... Read more

This musical brings the beloved novel to life with steampunk flair. It follows the ill-fated life of the ambitious Dr. Frankenstein, who creates a monster and is forced to face the monster within. 'Frankenstein' features songs by Michael Sgouros and Brenda Bell played by a live chamber ensemble.

 

Already closed

Slumber

Members say: Entertaining, Edgy, Funny, Quirky, Clever
74
Critics
53
8 reviews
Members
78
40 reviews

Just in time for Halloween, the Hideaway Circus Troupe debuts this dark and twisted interactive horror show featuring awe-inspiring circus artists. Who lives? Who dies? You decide!

... Read more

Set in a gritty, neon-lit environment and underscored by electronic pop music, 'Slumber' follows a breathtaking girl squad of elite international circus performers and dancers on the last night of their lives. The show takes the audience on a terrifyingly fun ride as they watch best friends get killed off by one of their own. Ages 21 and up only.

 

Open run

Paradiso: Chapter 1

Members say: Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Intense, Confusing
71
Critics
63
12 reviews
Members
79
15 reviews

Immersive theater pioneer Michael Counts created this unique experience, which marries escape-room entertainment with interactive theater.

... Read more

Loosely inspired by 'The Divine Comedy,' 'PARADISO: Chapter 1' drops 10 audience members into a noir-styled, futuristic nightmare that they must navigate through. With a company of actors guiding the experience, 'PARADISO' features a narrative structure that makes audiences feel as if they have entered a world where the circumstances, characters, risks, and drama represent an immersive 'reality.' A multi-layered story unfolds complete with actors, 3D holographic projection technology, and special effects. From the team behind 'The Walking Dead Experience' and 'Play/Date.' Ages 13 and up only. Exact Midtown Manhattan location provided upon purchase of tickets. 

 

Already closed

Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death!

Members say: Ambitious, Delightful, Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent
64
Critics
65
4 reviews
Members
63
5 reviews

La MaMa presents the world premiere of this horror-themed puppet spectacle, conceived and directed by Obie Award winner Randolph Curtis Rand.

... Read more

A rainy night in a Genevan castle. Debauched poetry and too much wine. A teenage girl writes a spooky story. On the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s creation, 'Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus,' 'Phantasmagoria' assembles a swirl of puppetry, biography, and storytelling into a market of ghosts. Part of La MaMa's 2016 Puppet Series.

 

Coney Island USA revives its Halloween creepshow, a demented story told by the '70s night watchman of the isle's infamous Presidential Wax Works.

... Read more

Be warned: Audiences who take this after-hours, crack-pipe smoking, hallucinogenic tour though the Hall of Presidents will be exposed to excessive swearing and encounter graphic violence, including a shooting gallery reenactment of the Kennedy assassination, zombies eating Richard Nixon's brain, and a funeral interrupted by a booger hanging off of George Washington's nose. No one under 10 admitted, and those ages 11 to 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

 

Read this next…