October 31 – October 31



NEW YORK — To delight its community and celebrate the creativity that comes with the season, Theater for the New City (TNC), 155 First Ave., will present its 47th annual Village Halloween Costume Ball October 31.   A large outdoor festivity will be held from 3:15 PM to 8:00 PM outside the Theater on East Tenth Street between First and Second Avenues (or if it rains, in a big tent), featuring performances, a costume competition and dancing to swing and Latin bands. This will be followed by indoor performances from 8:00 PM to midnight in TNC’s large Johnson Theater, and from 9:00 PM to 11:30 PM in the adjacent Community Space. Admission is free for the outdoor program and $20 for the indoor festivities. Costumes or formal wear are requested.

TNC has presented a Village Halloween Costume Ball annually since 1976. Traditionally, the celebration has taken up the entirety of TNC’s multi-theater complex at 155 First Avenue (the former First Avenue Retail Market building) and adjoining outdoor spaces. In 2020, due to the Covid shutdown, TNC maintained its Halloween tradition by presenting the entire event virtually. In 2021, with safety paramount, it was mounted entirely outdoors. Last year, TNC made the event hybrid, bringing some of it back inside while offering an impressive set of offerings outside in the fresh air. The aim was to capture the event’s intensity and traditional magic while facilitating Covid safety for both performers and attendees. It was so successful that the hybrid format will be repeated this year.


(as of September 27)


3:30 – 8:00 PM

Variety Acts:

  • Yip Harburg Rainbow Troupe, Matt Angel & Rob Varcony, Whimsical Hips Belly Dance led by Carol Tandva, John Grimaldi (juggling with fire), Elizabeth Ruf, stilt walking by Bond Street Theatre. Emceed by Mary Tierney.


Dancing in the Street:

  • Art Lillard’s Heavenly Big Band, a 17 piece swing orchestra performing an extensive repertoire of songs from swing to samba to jazz ballad to Bossa Nova with a swinging singing soloist
  • Mr. Pablo’s Latin Dance Band, a five-piece fusion band mixing Salsa, Samba and Flamenco with Rock, Reggae and Funk.


Costume Judging and Prizes:

  • “Monsters and Miracles Costume Parade.” All costumed attendees are invited to march past a panel of celebrity judges. Adult winners will receive one-year passes to TNC and a bottle of Proseco; children get candy. Attendees will be judged in such categories as “Most Booster-Shot,” “Most Testosteroned,” and “Most Inflationed.” Emceed by T. Scott Lilly, David Willinger, Emily Pezzella and Crystal Field.


Giveaway Table:

  • Free gifts and racks of giveaway clothing.


The Red and Black Masque:

  • An annual Medieval ritual show written by Arthur Sainer, scored by David Tice and directed by Crystal Field which is performed by torchlight with audience participation.



Admission $20


  • A succession of free, live, 10-minute performances staged in TNC’s Johnson Theater. The growing list of performers includes Phoebe Legere, Penny Arcade, Austin Pendleton, Cobu (all-female Japanese Taiko drumming and dance troupe), Peter Dizzoza, The Witcherly Sisters, Zero Boy, Constellation Dance, Bina Sharif, Flamenco singer/dancer Inma Heredia, Danielle Aziza (performance artist), TNC Street Theater Company in “Mermaid Song” performed by Terry Lee King & J.C. Augustin, Rome Neal, Hollie Harper, Carol Tandava (Belly Dance), Star 69, Wise Guise, Ellen Steier, William Electric Black, Lei Zhou, Lissa Moira Scream Contest, Richard West, Alberto Ferraras, Talento Davis, Bryce Payne, Tim Moss. Special Aerial Dance performance at 10:00 PM.


9:00 PM TO 11:30 PM

  • Cabaret and Vaudeville in Community Space Theater, emceed by Melanie Maria Goodreaux. Performers include Star 69, Lei Zhou, Yip Harburg Rainbow Troupe, Willie Ann Gissendanner, Elizabeth Ruf, Sabura Rashid, Toby Armour, Stan Baker, Larry Litt, Thomas Baker, JC Augustin, Peter Dizzoza, Schuyler Robinson, Textile, Maude Laudner Burke, Ellen Steier, Billy Little, Stephan Morrow.



  • Hellsouls, Tap Dancing with Laraine Goodman and The Mad Tappers, Fish Pond (casting for gifts) from 8:00 – 9:00 PM. Fortune Teller Penny Diora and Astrologer Maurisabel Santiago (free readings) from 8:00 – 9:00 PM. Musician/composer Peter Dizzoza, Rocco (Swing Singer). Champagne Bar served over a coffin with a live vampire inside.



Since its beginning in 1976, TNC’s Halloween extravaganza has been a point of origin for many of the City’s most original entertainers. Six full-length plays have grown out of playlets written for the fest and it is probable that the theatrical movement in Performance Art began there. It has been a launching pad for such formative artists as Paul Zaloom, Alice Farley, Bloolips, The Red Mole, Penny Arcade, Basil Twist and Alien Comic Tom Murrin. Each year, many acts, skits, sketches, and skadoodles go on to become the basis of larger theater works. It is also interesting to note that TNC originated the Village Halloween Parade as part of its annual Halloween Ball. The procession wound its way through the Village from TNC’s second home at the corner of Jane and West Streets to Washington Square Park.


Theater for the New City ( is located at 155 First Avenue, at the corner of East Tenth Street. Reservations are optional. The TNC box office number is (212) 254-1109.


PHOTO ATTACHED: Terry Lee King and JC Augustin as Coney Island Mermaids in “Mermaid Song,” to be performed in the Johnson Theater during Theater for the New City’s Village Halloween Costume Ball 2023. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.




COVID Protocol:
As of September 26th, 2022 , we are no longer requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for our audience upon entry.
Wearing of masks is suggested in the lobby, restrooms and performance spaces at Theater for the New City, but they are not required.