Theatrical scares abound for Halloween

Photo courtesy Hardcover Theater

​There's something special about a well-produced tale of terror on stage. It can be a single person reciting a bit of Lovecraft or Poe or a full production full of howling wind, mysterious footsteps, and creaks in the floorboards. Part of this is fairly obvious--hearing and seeing a story played out in front of you makes it all the more real. That you and the audience are gathered in the dark only makes the unknown--the engine that fuels the best horror stories--all the more scary. From there, it only takes a ghostly face in the window or a telling line to send the shivers down your spine.

Over this most special of holiday weekends, you will find plenty of Halloween delights in area theaters. Here are just a few items playing around town or in greater Minnesota.

Weird Tales for Halloween

(Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis)

At the Bryant-Lake Bowl, Hardcover Theater unleashes Weird Tales for Halloween, featuring a trio of ghoulish classics. The evening includes "The Beast With Five Fingers," where a man is haunted (shades of Evil Dead 2) by a human hand. "Lukundoo" finds an English explorer suffering from a terrible curse put down by an African witch doctor. And to round it up, there's "The Dunwich Horror," a landmark American horror story written by H.P. Lovecraft. $14-$18. 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the Bryant-Lake Bowl.

Yellow Kings and Darker Things

(People's Center Theater, 425 20th Ave. S. Minneapolis)

Over at Maximum Verbosity, Tim Uren presents a piece from Robert W. Chambers landmark horror anthology, The King in Yellow. Uren is a master storyteller and this story should be right up his alley. He shares the bill with phillip low who presents Quantum Suicide and Other Songs of Death, a collection of stories that promises additional ghoulish delights. $16 and $18. 7:30 Friday through Saturday (costume party Saturday night)

The Turn of the Screw

(Commonweal Theatre, 208 Parkway Ave. N., Lanesboro)

If you are looking for some theatrical scares and don't mind a road trip, Commonweal Theatre Company presents Henry James' classic The Turn of the Screw through November 6 in Lanesboro, located in the southeastern corner of Minnesota. James' tale is considered one of the greats of all time and features all of the elements you could want for some scares: A young governess on an isolated English estate, a pair of odd children, and plenty of strange goings on. The adaptation was crafted by Minnesotan Jeffrey Hatcher and is directed by Michael Bigelow Dixon, the former literary manager at the Guthrie Theater. $25. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, November 4-6 and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.


Legend of Sleepy Hollow

(Jon Hassler Theater, 412 W. Broadway, Plainview)

Plainview's Jon Hassler Theater presents a new version of Washington Irving's enduring ghostly tale in a new version crafted by the innovative trio of Jon Ferguson, John Heimbuch, and Tim Cameron. The piece blends together humor and action as the story of poor Icabod Crane and the Headless Horseman unfolds on stage. $14-$22. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Through November 28.

Michele! The Musical Bachumanntary

(Minneapolis Theater Garage, 711 W. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis)

And what could be scarier than Tuesday's election? You can laugh away the nightmares of the midterms with Michele! The Musical Bachumanntary, which closes its run this weekend. The comedy revue--crafted by a team of local improv and comedy veterans--takes the audience on a decidedly left-leaning look at the polarizing 6th District representative. $28-$30. 7:30 p.m. Friday through Saturday.

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