Nightcap By Ike
Thursday, October 27 at Joe’s Pub, 9 pm: $12.
Comedian, solo performer, and all-around entertainer Ikechukwu Ufomadu, oft-described as the theoretical offspring of Woody Allen and Frank Sinatra if such a thing was logically feasible, once again takes to the stage to bring you a “singular mélange” of jokes, special guests, and music. His performances are frequently in the style of a live talk show, infusing an oddly deadpan and NPR-esque affect at times to the typically over-the-top enthusiasm of talk show hosts. Ufomadu also uniquely lives in many aspects of the performance world, with one foot in the comedy world, another in the experimental theater scene, perhaps a hand in performance art and cabaret. Come Thursday, you’ll see it all. But in a digestible, nightcap form.
Tim Platt: Everything
Friday, October 28 at Wild Project, 8 pm: $18.
Comedian, performer, and artist Tim Platt will courageously attempt to do everything in one night. Well, at least everything he thinks is nice. There are only so many hours in the evening, after all. Expect jokes, songs, stories, help from some friends along the way, and, last but not least, “an attempt to cure himself of his condescending attitude in restaurants.” I’ve heard him speak about this before at shows, so you know it’s the real deal. And he says there won’t be puppets, but we all know in this day and age anything is possible. The show is part of the Wild Works Festival, presented by Loup Garou Internationale in conjunction with Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, so if you like this one you can perhaps try another.
Too Much Fright
October 28-29 at The Kraine Theater, 10:30 pm: $19 advance, $20 at the door, $15 in costume.
This one comes from madcap performance ensemble the NY Neo-Futurists, whose alumni include Cecil Baldwin of Night Vale and Dylan Marron, also of Night Vale and Seriously.TV. Each week, they attempt to perform 30 small, strange, or downright absurd plays in 60 minutes. This weekend, they’ll cross over to the spookier side for a Halloween-themed edition. Rather than writing all new scary plays for the occasion, the reality is much more monstrous: they will comb through their substantial archives, selecting the creepiest of content until they’ve created a creature. They will then show this creature to you, in their regular, fast-paced way. It’ll just be much more spooky. If you’re interested in trying your hand at this nonsense, the group’s Twitter page regularly asks folks to write “Twitterplays,” plays in 140 characters centered around a theme. Today’s prompt is “Write a 1-tweet play that features YOUR (YES, *YOUR*) BIGGEST FEAR.” Have fun!
Saturday, October 29 at Grace Exhibition Space, 8 pm: $10.
Ming Liu curates a hefty selection of performance work from artists both local and international to explore the performative nature of Halloween, a holiday where, according to the curator, “the grotesque becomes the sublime.” The stacked lineup includes Ian Deleón, one half of the duo Pulsar, who recently teamed up with Wild Torus to create a new performance platform called Wild Embeddings, which kicked off with a “48-hour multimedia festival.” There will also be musicians playing, which may or may not imbue the night with some shred of normalcy (probably not). As this is Halloween weekend, attendees are heartily encouraged to arrive to the show in costume and/or spooky makeup.
Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death!
Continues through November 20 at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater, 4 pm (Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 pm): $30.
Though this isn’t a Halloween show per se, some of the puppetry at work might give you thrilling nightmares. Occurring on the 200th anniversary of Shelley’s Frankenstein, this show combines several styles of puppetry, all of which have been stylized to bring out maximum creepiness. Think massive eyeballs with spindly lashes, squirming skeletons with stringy hair, and other such creations. Oh, and ghosts. And a dark castle in the middle of the rain. All of the elements seem to be in place for a bone-chillingly good time. And on October 30, there will be a postshow panel discussion entitled “Our Mother of Science Fiction: Monsters, Magic, and Mary Shelley.”