Theatre Bizarre 2014: a review in three scenes

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The Leech Doktor and I agree that if October is the best month of the year, then Theatre Bizarre is the month’s pinnacle. This past weekend we indulged ourselves at both the Gala preview and The Illusionists’ Ball, leaving with many stories to tell. Thankfully, there is no single answer to the question, “What is Theatre Bizarre?” Allow me to offer you a review in three scenes.
From Clipboard
What I told my mother
Why, Theatre Bizarre is a beautiful costume party! People dress up in wonderful, elegant costumes, and then they spend the evening dancing away at Detroit’s Masonic Temple. There is every imaginable costume! Royalty, storybook characters, ghosts and ghouls, and vampires of course. The Doktor and I wore masks that he made, and he wore his tuxedo, and I wore a long black taffeta skirt. We talked with friends, and watched the shows, and danced ’til all hours. We slept like babies!

Photo by Michael Smith

Photo by Michael Smith


What I told my best friend
IMG_3546Why, Theatre Bizarre is an outrageous and exciting costume party event! People dress up in dream-like or nightmarish costumes, and then they spend the evening exploring the secret chambers at Detroit’s Masonic Temple. The costumes are incredible! Babydolls with gigantic heads, steampunk gentlemen, Leeloo from the 5th Element, ghosts and ghouls, and vampires of course. The Doktor and I wore original Commedia dell’arte masques to the Gala, and he wore his blue tuxedo, and I wore a silver striped corset and a black taffeta skirt. For the second night, we donned rather frightening skull masks, and I delighted in the double-takes of the other revelers! We visited with friends and strangers, and watched burlesque shows, and danced ’til all hours to live music including David J of Bauhaus singing “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” We slept like rocks… after the Doktor satisfied his Roxi-inspired fantasies!

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What I tell my therapist
Why, Theatre Bizarre is a playground, a dazzling and frightening vision, a clearing in the woods where the Bacchanal is celebrated– and I willingly succumb! In my safe disguises, I follow the costumed throng to explore the secret chambers at Detroit’s Masonic Temple. Baby dolls with bloated heads and tentacles, French aristocrats, naughty nuns, red horned devils, witches, ghosts and ghouls, full-body paint and a lack of clothing! I hid behind the original Comedia del’Arte mask, and from the safety of that anonymity, took in the event. For the second night, we donned frightening skull masks, and I delighted in scaring and leering at the other revelers! We curiously watched the burlesque dancers including Roxi DLite‘s final performance of Zombo’s Funeral/Resurrection and Hayley Jane, the suspension rigs, the rope work that balanced and manipulated an almost naked young woman above the floor, the BDSM play by Lady Pain and her Tortured Souls. And we danced in a haze of strobe lights and smoke. My dreams were haunted by naked women wearing huge oxen heads, ghouls waving their arms at me, monsters, murderers, and witches that I followed through dark hallways, wondering What does it all mean? And how long until I can go back again?

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