Halloween is only a few days away, and it’s time to pull out the shows that put us in the mood to be scared. There’s just one problem with this: I’m the world’s biggest scaredy cat. For this list, there will be some musicals featured that I’ve never seen before, mostly because I’m too much of a giant child. For those of you that have the guts, enjoy these spooky shows.
Based on Stephen King’s legendary high school revenge novel, Carrie first opened on Broadway in 1988 and only ran for 21 performances (total, with previews). Since then, it’s been revived in many regional productions, including a new immersive experience currently running in Los Angeles.
Check out the trailer for Carrie: The Killer Musical Experience here.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
It hasn’t been turned into a stage musical just yet, but Jack, The Pumpkin King, has been a staple in the Halloween and underground subcultures since it came out 22 years ago. Although the story revolves around Jack Skellington discovering Christmas and utterly ruining it for children everywhere, director Henry Selick recently said that it was a Halloween movie. No debate. It’s not scary, perhaps only a bit frightening, which makes it perfectly suitable for children (or me).
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The notorious cannibal murderer (oops, spoiler alert!) of Broadway became an instant classic since it opened in 1979. The Best Musical Tony winner has become one of Stephen Sondheim’s most well-known works. Recently, when a high school had to cancel their production of it, Sondheim came to their rescue, writing a letter to the staff and students. He notably said that “What Sweeney Todd is really about is having a good time.” Don’t let the violence and gore scare you away — it’s not to be missed.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
No October is complete without dancing the Time Warp. The cult classic began as a stage musical in 1973 before the film was released in 1975, featuring much of the same cast (including Tim Curry in his first-ever movie role). Follow young couple Brad and Janet on their journey to inform their former professor that they’re now engaged, but instead, their car breaks down and they end up at Dr. Frank N. Furter’s castle/laboratory. A parody of classic B-rated horror movies, Rocky Horror is forty years going strong and has no end in sight.
Playbill has a whole list of horror stories made musicals (including Phantom of the Opera… I’m gonna call a bit of a stretch on that one) that you can check out here. Happy and spooky watching!