Halloween is the traditional night for ghosts, ghouls, goblins - and Theater for the New City. The downtown company hosts its 24th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball Oct. 31 at its space on 155 First Avenue.
Free outdoor entertainment including stilt walkers, jugglers, fire eaters, rock bands and a torch light performance of the medieval ritual show "The Red and Black Masque" begins at 4 PM, but the true hightlight is the 11:30 PM "Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade" and judging. Any costumed person is welcome to walk past the celebrity judges - this year featuring Maria Irene Fornes, H.M. Koutoukas and John Gilman - and be placed best in show in one of twelve categories including "Most Bewitchable," "Most Mosquito-Repellant," "Most Polite Debater," "Most Fuzzy Math," "Most Bandwidth" and "Most Credit-Counseled." Winners receive a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne and a one-year pass to Theatre for the New City's events.
Doors open at 7:30 PM. The Witches' Cauldron, the evening's buffet, has appropriate food stuffs on the menu - vampire borscht, graveyard chopped liver and Halloween pumpkin pie.
Wandering about the party will be a Wiccan psychic reader, Numerologists, the throwing of the I Ching, Hellsouls, Paganini Apparition, belly dancer Jezebel and trapeze artist June Abrams. Music will be provided by Hot Lavender Swing Band, Paprika, Hot Kitty, Butter, Gurgle, Aytobach Kreisor and Chris Rael with jazz from Arthur Abrams and Ed Goldsmith.
The theatre company also hosts a continuously-running cabaret beginning at 8 PM. Penny Arcade, Epstein and Hassan, Sheila Dabney, Lil Debbie, Wise Guise, Zero Boy, the Wycherly Sisters, Prisoners of the Czar, Bingo Gazingo, Bond Street Theatre, Ofrit, Vissi Dance Theatre, Mosais Jewels, Favah and others. Tickets are $15. Theater for a New City is located at 155 First Avenue at East 10th Avenue. For reservations, call (212) 254-1109.
-- By Christine Ehren