27th Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball 31 Oct 2003

Thu 9 Oct 2003 27th Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball 31 Oct 2003 Theater For The New City holds its 27th Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball on 31 Oct 2003 at 155 First Avenue (at E. 10th St.) and the block of E. 10th St. between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Free outdoor entertainment begins 4:00 pm; doors open 7:30 pm $15; costume or formal wear required, (212) 254-1109 Nonstop theater, a costume competition and ballroom dancing will bewitch the East Village. This unique festival continues as a joyous coming together for everyday New Yorkers and artists alike. A carefree fall tradition, it celebrates the creativity that comes with the season. Crystal Field, TNC's artistic director, notes, "No matter what your religion, you can come together for this holiday--it's not religiously attached. Fun and joyousness are what we need now, and this costume festival is above all, fun." 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 $15; costume or formal wear is required. Dance orchestras will include Paprika, the noted Brazilian jazz pop orchestra, and Hot Lavendar Swing Band, an all-Gay and Lesbian 18-piece orchestra. With its Witches' Cauldron, the event can justifiably claim to have downtown's most sensational Halloween cafe. The basement 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 and a variety of private chefs. You can gobble couscous from a coffin lid beginning at 7:30 pm while enjoying spine-tingling jazz by Arthur Abrams, Ed Goldsmith and more. 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, Stuart Sherman 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. Featured performers will include The Lady Cavaliers, NY Lyric Circus, Missile Dick Chicks, The TNC Street Theater Company, steve ben israel, Epstein and Hassan, Wise Guise, Mark Marcante, Bina Sharif, Michael Vazquez, Richard West, The Wycherly Sisters, Donald L. Brooks, Gloria Tropp, George Bellici, Le Phew Productions, Pat Ferry, Andre Brown, Carmen Mathis, Lissa Moira, Richard West, Flavah, Bingo Gazingo, Eve Packer, Kevin Martin, and more. This year, Outdoor entertainment, free to the public, will start at 4:00 pm with music by Star 69 and more and an assortment of jugglers and vaudeville acts including fire breathers. 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, throwing of the I Ching, belly dancers, Hellsouls, and Paganini Apparition. The annual costume judging begins at 11:30 pm 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. This year's panel includes celebrity judges Lucious Johnny Valiant, H.M. Koutoukas, Judith Malina, Hannon Reznikoff, John Gilman, Bob Heide, Rome Neal, Jack Agueros, Tom O'Horgan, Maria Irene Fornes, Miguel Moldonado, and David Willinger. Attendees will be judged in such categories as "Most Magickal," "Most Ticklish," "Most Pissed about Enron," "Most Muscular Governor," Most Bitten by Tigers," "Most Lost in Translation," "Most Deregulated," "Most Hopeful Pacifist," "Most Homeland-Secure," "Most Gas Guzzling," "Deepest Insider Trading," "Most Recurrent Afterthought" and "Most Easy to Amuse While Standing in Line." (Photo: Susan Gittens as George W (in this context, it means Witch) Bush, Jason La Rosa as John Q. Public. Mask by Haideen Anderson. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.)

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