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Top theatre to see in New York for Halloween

Catch these plays and musicals about all things spooky and spellbinding.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Spooky season is underway, and it's the perfect time to have a frightfully fun night at the theatre. Legend has it that ghosts haunt most Broadway theatres, so you could be in for a fright at any show. If you really want to get into the spirit, though, there are plenty of New York stages showcasing Halloween theatre that celebrates all things witchy, magical, and downright scary.

The whimsical magic of Harry Potter and Wicked will delight the horror-averse. The hair-raising chills and thrills of Perfect Crime and Frankenstein: The Musical are perfect for scary movie lovers and crime show junkies. And shows like Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice, and Stranger Sings! fall somewhere in between. No matter "witch" way you celebrate Halloween, you can find a musical or play with the right tone — and that's no trick.

These shows deal with the supernatural, the criminal, and the spellbinding, and they're all on stage now. Plan a fun Halloween night outing to see one, or go later if you don't want the Halloween season to end.

Get tickets to a Broadway show on New York Theatre Guide.



What better way to ring in Halloween than with a tale of two famous witches? Wicked is the backstory behind The Wizard of Oz, with Elphaba — better known as the Wicked Witch of the West — and her friendship with Glinda the Good Witch when they were schoolmates. Wicked has been an audience favorite at the Gershwin Theatre since 2003, and it's filled with spells and gravity-defying broomstick rides. As a bonus, you'll learn the origin (according to the musical, anyway) of the famous pointy witch hat that features in many a Halloween costume.

Get Wicked tickets now.

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Into the Woods

Another magical story casting a spell over Broadway right now is the latest revival of Stephen Sondheim's fairytale musical Into the Woods. Fairytale characters go off in search of happily ever after but soon learn that happy doesn't last forever — and that's where the spooks come in. Witches, curses, giants, and magic all appear in the woods, and the many classic characters in the show — Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Rapunzel — are sure to provide plenty of costume inspiration for all ages.

Get Into the Woods tickets now.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

There's no better time than Halloween for a little wizardry and witchcraft. Grab your wand and your house robes and enter the Wizarding World at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Years after the events of the books, Harry Potter's son Albus sets out to save the world from dark forces — which become even darker and spookier when Albus's quest messes with time. The previously two-part show is now condensed into one event, making for a single magical night at the Lyric Theatre.

Get Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets now.

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Beetlejuice - Alex Brightman and the cast of Beetlejuice


The ghost with the most is haunting Broadway — but only through January 8. This is your last Halloween to see Tim Burton's cult classic film on stage. Jump into the netherworld with Beetlejuice, a ghost who teaches a newly dead couple how to haunt their old house and befriends its new tenant, a goth teenager named Lydia. Frights and delights ensue, and audiences are encouraged to come costumed.

Get Beetlejuice tickets now.

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The Phantom of the Opera

Beware the Phantom of the Opera this Halloween — or let yourself succumb to the music of the night. The longest-running musical on Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera tells the treacherous romance between the opera singer Christine Daaé and the titular Phantom, a mysterious masked man who haunts the opera house's underground. Haunting orchestrations and iconic but harrowing moments, like the infamous crash of a chandelier, are perfect for spooky season, and the "Masquerade" dance sequence is sure to get you in the mood for a costume party.

Get The Phantom of the Opera tickets now.

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Little Shop of Horrors

Skid Row probably wouldn't be the best trick-or-treating spot — you might get eaten before you get any candy for yourself. Instead, enjoy the classic horror comedy Little Shop of Horrors from the safety of the audience — but still beware the snapping jaws of the flesh-eating plant Audrey II. It tasks a hapless flower shop worker, Seymour, with finding it fresh meat, promising him fame and fortune if he's willing to kill for it.

Get Little Shop of Horrors tickets now.

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Sleep No More

Sleep No More marries two perfectly eerie properties: the witchy plot of Macbeth and the noir setting of Alfred Hitchcock's thriller films. At this immersive experience, audiences walk around five floors of an old hotel and see different scenes from the show play out — and if you're lucky, you might stumble upon a secret passage or encounter an actor who leads you to one. Don't just see a spooky show this Halloween — be part of one.

Get Sleep No More tickets now.

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Frankenstein: The Musical

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: The Musical is considered the first science fiction novel, and this timeless monster hit is now a new, dark musical. Frankenstein: The Musical is told from the perspective of the title scientist who assembles a creature, brings him to life, and then has to deal with the terrifying aftermath. Performed by a live chamber orchestra, the haunting music will truly send a chill down your spine.

Get Frankenstein: The Musical tickets now.

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Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical

Take a trip to the Upside Down this Halloween at Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical. The chilling, interdimensional world of the hit TV show Stranger Things comes to life in this Off-Broadway musical. But if horror isn't your thing, don't worry — the show includes more of the '80s camp than the scary parts, and the demogorgons are a lot less frightening when they break out into a dance routine.

Get Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical tickets now.

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Perfect Crime

The longest-running play in New York is still bringing in audiences with its mystery and thrill. The psychiatrist Margaret Brent is suspected of killing her husband — until he appears alive — and things only get complicated further when the detective on the case falls for her. Even if she's innocent, foul play is afoot, but the question remains until the final gunshot: Who killed who, and can they be caught, or did they commit the perfect crime?

Get Perfect Crime tickets now.

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Ohio State Murders

This crime thriller by Adrienne Kennedy doesn't start performances until November 8, but you can get tickets then if you don't want spooky season to end right on October 31. The six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald plays Suzanne Alexander, a writer who returns to her alma mater and finally learns the scary truth about a crime committed while she was a student there.

Get Ohio State Murders tickets now.

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