Halloween isn’t a good time to be a sissy. Even if you’re not the type to go to the trouble of finding a costume, there’s a good chance that if you leave the house on the big night, you’ll be accosted by zombies, bloodsuckers, freaks and, yep, even pint-sized Justin Biebers. To help get in the spirit of the harrowing holiday, read on for a few theatrical ways to scare up some fun.
Last fall, I wrote about the actors who made Lynden’s Scream Fair come to grisly, gory life. This year, I thought I was prepared and wouldn’t be fazed by the horde of spooks. I was so wrong. Thanks to an apparition who materialized at my backseat passenger window before I’d zipped up my coat, I screamed before I even got out of the car—and practically ended up in the lap of my seat-mate, who’d seen the monster coming, but didn’t bother to tip me off. From there on out, it seemed every ghost, ogre and chainsaw-wielding psychopath was after me, and didn’t let up until I’d gone through the maze of terror. Good job staying in character, folks, but, geez, pick on someone else next time. When: Oct. 25-27 and Oct. 31 Where: NW Washington Fairgrounds, Lynden Cost: $13 ($20 for a VIP Scream Pass) Info: http://www.screamfair.com
Ever since the Upfront Theatre started performing its entirely improvised murder mystery, Hellingham, audiences have lined up in droves to be part of the action. With the help of those sitting in the seats, characters were created out of thin air—and a few of them eventually died before the murders were solved. This year, for the final weekend before Halloween, and on Halloween proper, Hellingham of the Dead will add zombies into the mix. “Hellingham of the Dead is the survival story of a small town at the onset of a zombie apocalypse,” reads a press release focusing on the murderous mayhem. “Watch as the townsfolk fight to survive and avoid becoming zombies themselves, one at a time. Chances are slim, the outlook is grim.” Get your tickets early, as you don’t want to be left outside when the scares start (because that’s where the zombies are). When: 8pm and 10pm, Oct. 26-27, and 8pm Wed., Oct. 31 Where: Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St. Cost: $8-$10 for the weekend shows, $15 for Halloween night Info: http://www.theupfront.com
Fans of history know that real-life horrors are often more hideous than imagined ones. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692—which were conducted in a variety of towns in colonial Massachusetts, and resulted in hangings, imprisonment and rampant accusations—are an example of what happens when religious extremism goes awry. Thanks to Skagit Valley’s Theatre Arts Guild, those who are interested in finding out more about that terrible time can do so via Witches! The Musical, which is showing through early November at the Lincoln Theatre. Though the premise is tragic, Witches! author and musical director Conrad Askland has brought some comedy into the mix, as well as music ranging from everything from classical to hip-hop. “The show is serious subject matter, but we have a lot of ‘campy’ moments, and humor, too,” director Jane Skinner says. When: 7:30pm Oct. 25-27 and Nov. 2-3, 2pm Oct. 28 Where: Lincoln Theatre, Mount Vernon Cost: $10-$25 Info: http://www.lincolntheatre.org
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