The first time I went to a Broadway theater on Halloween was in the early 2000’s. I was still in High School, and my best friend got us tickets to see The Rocky Horror Show at Circle in the Square. We were obsessed with the movie (but more importantly Alice Ripley and Daphne Ruben-Vega) and knew everyone would be dressed up for the occasion.
We went dressed as Brad and Janet. Our parents had just allowed us to take the LIRR into the city for the first time. Corsets, fishnets and platform heels were out of the question.
When we arrived, we were crestfallen. Most of the audience were couples over the age of 60 and certainly NOT dressed up (or down). We quickly got over it when we saw they were selling packages of “Rocky Horror Essentials” (feather boa, umbrella, etc.). I wish I could say that I noticed whether they served fabulous specialty drinks, but let’s be honest, we were 14 and too busy singing along to Rent on our Discman.
Fast forward 17 years to my next Halloween on Broadway. It was my first time working at an SHG bar on Halloween. I was so excited to see what would happen at A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (where I KNOW we offered this fabulous cocktail). The show had just won Best Musical, and it was a macabre sort of affair, so again, perfect for a Halloween celebration.
I was again disappointed to see no one was in costume and no one was there to celebrate! It turns out, most New Yorkers choose to spend Halloween (and, let’s be honest, most major holidays) far away from the crowds in Times Square.
Today, this New Yorker prefers to spend the night at home with his mini-schnauzer, Scout (in full costume). We watch Hocus Pocus while eating non-chocolate snacks. We have mastered the choreo for “I Put A Spell on You” and always make sure to mix the perfect Halloween themed cocktail.