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TNC's 31st Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball Oct. 31

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THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY will hold its 31st Annual Halloween Costume Ball on October 31st, 2008. Underground stars perform each year in TNC's Halloween Cabarets. Guests will see, be seen and vie for costume prizes.

Celebrants will sink fangs into Halloween delicacies in The Witches' Cauldron

October 31, at 155 First Avenue (at E. 10th St.) and the block of E. 10th St. between 1st and 2nd Avenues (presented by Theater for the New City) Outdoor entertainment 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm; doors open 7:30 pm $20; costume or formal wear required, (212) 254-1109 Info/ticketing www.theaterforthenewcity.net

Nonstop theater, a costume competition and ballroom dancing will bewitch the East Village in Theater for the New City's 32nd annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on Friday, October 31 at TNC, 155 First Avenue. This unique festival continues as a grand coming-together for everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. A carefree fall tradition, it celebrates the creativity that comes with the season.

The one-night fiesta takes over all four of TNC's theater spaces, plus its lobby and the block of East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues. Customarily over 1,400 wildly-clad celebrants gather for dancing, dining, showing off costumes and viewing acts from the cutting-edge of Cabaret and Theater. Admission is $20; costume or formal wear is required.

Big-Band Dance orchestras take over the large Johnson Theater. Last year, these included The Great Paprika Band, a noted Brazilian jazz pop orchestra, Hot Lavendar Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra, and New York Flaggers.

With its Witches' Cauldron, the event can justifiably claim to have downtown's most sensational Halloween cafe. The Community Theater of TNC becomes an atmospheric grande buffet for the event, with a variety of American and international delicacies available at peoples' prices. Holiday dishes are contributed by neighboring East Village restaurants, some with celebrity chefs. You can gobble couscous from a coffin lid beginning at 7:30 pm while enjoying spine-tingling performances by performance artists, songwriters, poets and variety artists.

Outside, there are bluegrass and jazz bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storyweavers and stilt dancers, all free to the public and a gift from TNC to its neighborhood. Inside, there is theater all evening.

Since its beginning in 1977, TNC's Halloween extravaganza has been a point of origin for many of the City's most original entertainers. Six full-length plays have grown out of playlets written for the fest and it is probable that the theatrical movement in Performance Art began there. It has been a launching pad for such formative artists as Paul Zaloom, Alice Farley, Bloolips, The Red Mole, Penny Arcade, Basil Twist and Alien Comic Tom Murrin. It is also interesting to note TNC originated the Village Halloween Parade as part of its annual Halloween Ball. The procession wound its way through the Village from TNC's second home at the corner of Jane and West Streets to Washington Square Park. Now the event takes up every available inch (both floors) of TNC's multi-theater complex at 155 First Avenue (the former First Avenue Retail Market building) and adjoining outdoor spaces.

Doors open at 7:30 pm and indoor entertainment begins at 8:00 pm. There will be two continuously-running cabarets. Outdoor entertainment, free to the public, will start at 3:00 pm. Outdoor entertainment is capped by "The Red and Black Masque," an annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight.

Scattered through the event will be stilt dancers, jugglers, fire-eaters, Vaudeville playlets and Burlesque. Lobby attractions will include a Wiccan Psychic Reader, Astrology/Numerology, Astral Portraits, an Aura Reader, throwing of the I Ching and Hellsouls.

The entire facility will be elaborately rendered for Halloween, featuring intricate and massive environments by leading theatrical scenarists, sculptors, and artists including Donald L. Brooks, Susan Gittins, Alexander Bartenieff, Mark Marcante, Richard Reta, Zen Mansley, Candice Burridge, Pamela Mayo, Desiree Conston, Evan Laurence, Viviane La Corte and Terry Ferrari.

The annual costume judging begins at midnight with the "Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade," as all revelers are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judges. Winners in twelve individual categories will receive one-year passes to TNC and a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne. Attendees will be judged in such categories as "Most Magickal," "Most Psychic, "Most Mortgage-Defaulted," "Most Severance-Paid Banker," "Nastiest Soccer Mom," "Most Botoxed," Most Mismatched DNA," "Most Deregulated," "Most Stuffed Shirt" and "Most Born-Again, and Again, and Again." Celebrity judges will include George Ferencz, Eduardo Machado, Misha Shulman, Mario Fratti, H.M. Koutoukas, Miguel Maldonado, John Gilman, Sabura Rashid, Travis S.D., Bob Heide, Romero Sandoval, Rudolfo Quebleen, Rome Neal, Garland Lee Thompson, Laurence Holder and David Willinger.

The performers' list, in formation as of this writing, includes: Penny Arcade, Bina Sharif, Amazing Grace & Company, Andre Brown (tap), Arthur Abrams, Bingo Gazingo, Bob Dahdah, Its' The Economy Stupid, Chris Merwyn, Donald L. Brooks, Epstein and Hassan, Eve Packer, Gary Heidt and Friends, Gary Newton, Travid S.D., George Bellici, Imagination Explsion, Inma Heredia (Flamenco), Iration Squad, Jimmy Camicia, Joe Bendik, John Grimaldi (NY Lyric Circus), Katherine Adamenko, Kevin Martin, Jezebel, Andre Brown, Zero Boy, Laraine Goodman and friends (tap), Lauretta Auditorium, Lavinia Co-Op, Lei Zhou, Levanah (Belly Dance), Lissa Moira, the band Liv I Culture, New York Flaggers, Margo Lee Sherman, Maria Michelas, Michael Vazquez, Michelle DeAngeles, New York Ukulele Ensemble, Norman Savitt with Susan Mitchell, Paganini Apparition, The Bacher Boys, Gaby Nunic, Nikki Jenkins, Richard West, Robert Fitzsimmons, Salome James & Chuck Muscone, Samurai Sword Soul, Soce the Elemental Wizard, Sabor Cubano, Star 69, steve ben israel, The Love Show, The Wycherly Sisters, Vangeline Theater, Wise Guise, Witches in Bikinis, Carol Lugo and Zombies on Parade. Puppet theater artists include Candice Burridge and Evan Lawrence .

Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue, at the corner of East Tenth Street. Reservations are strongly recommended. The TNC box office number is (212) 254-1109.


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