Chicago knows how to do Halloween. We enjoy a good costume party, haunted house and parade. To dial up the chill in this crisp, fall air, check out these goose bump-inducing theatrical offerings. From traditional gothic horror to more psychologically disturbing underpinnings, there's certainly a twisted tale to suit your taste.
Are you a traditionalist, looking for the classic scare re-imagined?
All Girl Frankenstein
Oct 19 - Dec 1, 2013
Chicago Mammals at Zoo Studio
The Chicago Mammals bring their dark, indulgent, salacious style to the classic tale of Frankenstein. After his demanding mother passes from the mortal coil, Victor Frankenstein is driven by his regrets to discover the means of reanimating the dead. When the creature he resurrects attempts by itself to manifest life, resurrection and procreation co-mingle igniting disastrous abominations!
The Passion of Dracula
Oct 5 - Oct 27, 2013
Theatre-Hikes at Morton Arboretum
This version of the Dracula legend, based on the 1897 Bram Stoker novel, is set in the English countryside in 1911 where several village girls have died under mysterious circumstances. Dr. Seward presides over a nearby mental hospital and the locality has acquired a new resident, Count Dracula! A trio of doctors, a young reporter, and a stouthearted English lord battle the Count for possession of the lovely heroine. With a dash of Holmesian sleuthing in this Baskerville hound country setting, our heroes save the heroine and dispatch the Count in the traditional manner.
Creature Feature Radio Hour: The Wolfman on Mummy Island
Oct 4 - Nov 2, 2013
Chemically Imbalanced Theater
Set in 1938 on a radio soundstage, "Creature Feature Radio Hour: The Wolfman on Mummy Island" tells the story of the era's spookiest radio show, The Creature Feature. As the show goes live from coast-to-coast for the first time to bring "The Wolfman of Mummy Island" to life before the audience's ears, the studio is intruded upon by a strange and malevolent extraterrestrial force with the ability to change shape. No one is safe, and everyone is a suspect. The cast may be killing each other, but "the show must go on!
Musical of the Living Dead
Oct 10 - Nov 9, 2013
Cowardly Scarecrow at Stage 773
Ten survivors of a recent zombie apocalypse, trapped in a farmhouse, are willing to try anything to escape in Musical of the Living Dead. Voted Chicago's "Best Musical" by the Chicago Reader, this parody of classic zombie films and musical theater puts you in the center of the chaotic zombie apocalypse as you watch a desperate and amusing cast of characters seek refuge from a ravenous horde of brain-eating zombies, who occasionally break out into wild and crazy dance moves.
Maybe you're looking for a frights for the entire family...
Click, Clack, Boo! A Tricky Treat
Oct 19 - Nov 24, 2013
It's Halloween! Duck, Pig, Cow, and Hen can't wait to throw a party, complete with apple-bobbing, bottomless candy bowls, and a spook-tacular costume contest. But when mean ol' Farmer Brown refuses to allow the festivities, it's going to take some clever trickery to enjoy the tasty treats. Join the beloved barnyard crew as they teach Farmer Brown that sometimes a little scare can be big fun, in a world premiere musical for the entire family.
Or, perhaps most frighteningly, you're looking to explore the horrors of human nature gone awry...
Lord Of The Flies
Oct 16 - Nov 15, 2013
A plane wreck strands a group of English boys on a deserted island during wartime. As they slowly explore their newfound freedom, what starts out as fun and games turns into a vicious battle for power when the boys split into two opposing tribes: one that strives for civility and another that delights in savage violence. The competition escalates into a dangerous, frightening climax, as this thrilling classic looks into the darker parts of human nature where it's civilization vs. savagery and the mob vs. morality. Performances Tuesday through Friday at 10am are reserved for school groups only.
Sep 27 - Oct 27, 2013
Bohemian Theatre Ensemble at Heartland Studio Theatre
This intimate thriller explores the thin line between fantasy and reality, and the lengths one is willing to go to find absolution. Students Susan and Larry find themselves enticed to an old New England mansion by its elderly caretakers in order to meet Cissie, the sole surviving member of the mansion's family. They insist that Susan bears a striking resemblance to Cissie's long-dead sister, Veronica. If Susan will agree to briefly impersonate Veronica, they believe it will comfort the dementia-afflicted Cissie and allow her to die in peace. But what begins as a simple errand of mercy quickly spirals into a nightmare cycle of guilt, sacrifice, and murder. For in this place, nothing is truly as it appears.
The Water's Edge
Sep 26 - Oct 26, 2013
AstonRep Theatre Rep at Raven Theatre
A modern take on a Greek tragedy, a scorned husband and father returns home after a 17-year absence - with a new girlfriend in tow - to face the ex-wife who still blames him for a devastating loss in their family's past. This tense domestic drama turns shocking, however, as a startling twist is revealed, leading to a stunning climax.
All show descriptions via promotional materials. Image via Steppenwolf Theatre Company/Lord of the Flies