Detroit’s strangest, wildest, most eccentric party is happening next weekend at The Masonic Temple. Known as Theatre Bizarre, it can loosely be described as a culmination of love for Halloween, circus acts and masquerades, but is oh so much more than that. From the artistic mind of John Dunivant and with the aid of around 350 performers across eight floors, 19 stages and 260,000 square feet, Theatre Bizarre aims to dazzle and delight at every turn.
But, how did this “masquerade spectacular” come about? Well, the beginnings of Theatre Bizarre are a bit of an underground story, to say the least. Theatre Bizarre started out in a few vacant lots in Detroit. Over time, due to a series of house fires nearby, Theatre Bizarre started to expand into the newly-formed vacant lots. However, by its tenth year in production,
Theatre Bizarre was forced by police to shut down its operations. Staying ever-vigilant, the masterminds of Theatre Bizarre pulled what they could together and hosted that year’s festivities at The Fillmore in Detroit before moving to its current home at The Masonic Temple.
After the year at the Fillmore, the folks from Theatre Bizarre met with the folks at The Masonic Temple, cultivated a relationship and has been putting on the show there for the last six years. Whereas in its fifth year, Theatre Bizarre added the Friday night gala event, going into its sixth year, Theatre Bizarre will be adding another first: two weekends instead of one. Over time, popularity for the event has increased to the point that it seemed like the right time for the event to expand into a second weekend.
“We can’t withstand a larger crowd, so the only way to increase any revenue is to do multiple shows,” said co-owner and general manager Jason McCombs.
“I’ve talked to several other people in the industry and there is no production that comes close to what we put on and for the amount of money that we spend,” McCombs said, “even though it’s a staggering amount of money, it’s nothing compared to what…if somebody else were to come into town and try to do what we do, it would cost millions of dollars.”
So, what do you have to lose by attending one of the greatest parties in the country?Everyone is in costume and all of the performers are in character making this not just a party, but an experience. Live music, random performances and surprises around every corner are just some of the things you’ll find at Theatre Bizarre.
This year’s gala events will take place on October 14 and 21. The main events will take place on October 15 and 22. Masquerade tickets are $260 while the main event is $95. Tickets can be purchased on Theatre Bizarre’s website.