Scooty and Jojo move campy cult hit Carpenters Halloween to Circuit
Who says mash-ups are limited to dance songs? Now in its fourth year, Carpenters Halloween melds the melodic harmonies of Karen and Richard Carpenter with the hack-n-slash scream classic Halloween, the brainchild of the other Carpenter to emerge in the ’70s, horror-meister John. For its latest resurrection, creators Scott Bradley and Jonny Stax move the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois, from Mary’s Attic to Circuit Nightclub. I asked Bradley a about the switch to Boystown:
Was the space change from Mary's Attic to Circuit primarily to accommodate a larger audience?
Scooty & Jojo love Mary's Attic and they've been fantastic hosts to our shenanigans for three years now, but the crowds for Carpenters Halloween have grown so large and rapacious that we needed a bigger kennel. Circuit Nightclub is the perfect venue for the show this year—it can accommodate the sizable crowds we expect to have and still provide comfortable cabaret seating.
Did the size of the cast and band change as well?
Even though the venue has gotten much bigger, the eight-member cast and three-piece band remain the same size. We tried to enlarge a few of them but that got too messy.
Are there any technical elements that are new or different this year?
Circuit Nightclub's lighting, fog effects and huge projection screen just push the show that much further over the edge into absurdity. And more stage space means we get to have even bigger cardboard cars and props!
Did you have to re-block/re-choreograph any to accommodate it?
We've made staging adjustments for our new space, but the overall shape is consistent with previous years. And while we always discover new laughs to be had, it's very important to us from year to year to maintain the original vision and tone of the show. After all, the charm of this holiday horror show brings folks back as much as the sheer ridiculousness does. And the pretty songs, of course. And the bloody killings that accompany the pretty songs. And the middle-aged man playing a teenage Jamie Lee Curtis. Only now it's on a disco dance floor with 50 mirrored balls spinning overhead—heavenly!
What's the most urgent reason a person should get off his costumed butt and see Carpenters Halloween?
No matter who you are, every person needs a good, strong endorphin rush to keep the knife from the wrist. A good scare and a hearty laugh is the healthiest way to reach that high. Carpenters Halloween gives you both for a full hour, and you can mix it with a stiff drink!
Carpenters Halloween runs Oct. 22, 24, 27, 28, 29 and 30 at 8pm, and Oct. 31 at 7pm. Performances are at Circuit Nightclub, 3641 N Halsted St. Tickets are $15–$25.