Halloween in Philadelphia: Nightlife goodies for grown-ups

Posted: October 26, 2013

Halloween isn't just for kids anymore. Not when you consider the wealth of adult events, often with a risqué spin, surrounding these days of the dead.

With Halloween smack in the middle of the week, clubs, bar/restaurants, hotels, and event spaces are taking the opportunity to extend their entrée into zombiedom and sexy monstrosity and start early.

The Legend

It's one week before his 45th Halloween Ball, and Henri David is tinkering with his elaborate costumes - all three of them. "Maybe four, you know how I am," says Pine Street's jewelry-designing party pusher, who has made the pageantry of Halloween his own special mystery. David and partner Paul Struck plan for this bash all year, then continue planning, stitching, erecting, and sawing (he's been on stilts a few times) until game time. The mystery of David comes in the anticipation - from longtime Halloween Ball fans to the newfound revelers David calls "fresh meat"- of what he has designed, something he never reveals before the big show. One thing he will reveal is two of his costume-contest judges: his longtime friend (and one-time Lickety Split bartender) Elizabeth Coffey, who shot to fame in director John Waters' Pink Flamingos (1972). The other surprise guest judge will be David's "new best bud," Philly Councilman Jim Kenney, "He thinks I'm a riot," says David. "For Jim's whole life, he's been this heavy-duty Mummers guy, but when he saw me doing my thing, he knew he'd met his match."

Thursday, 9 p.m., Sheraton Center City, 16th and Race Streets. Tickets: $25 in costume, $60 "for voyeurs." 215-732-7711. Advance tickets only at David's store, Halloween, 1329 Pine St.

The Southern Cross

Headhouse Square's the Twisted Tail is renowned for its down-and-dirty live blues schedule and Chef Leo Forneas' nouvelle Southern menu. Yet when it comes to the extended Halloween holiday, they're dead. And sexy. For its third annual free H-ween party, the Twisted Tail's staff will dress as Dead Celebrities (if you see an "Abraham Lincoln," that's owner George Reilly), while wild live music comes from their nightly host Mikey Jr. and the Stone Cold Blues band.

Saturday, 9 p.m., 509 S. 2d St. Tickets: Free. 215-558-2471, www.thetwistedtail.com.

The Kink, the 'Kill, the Kreator

Philadelphia's burlesque greats, the Peek-A-Boo Revue, started celebrating Halloween last week at the Trocadero with its first all-member ensemble gig in a decade. This week, the Peek-A-Boo's hosts, dancers, and guest performers (from Pig Iron Theater) have plenty of Halloween costumes left to put on (and take off) when they head to World Cafe Live in Delaware for their usual sexed-up show of flash and flesh. Meanwhile, the Troc in Chinatown also has plenty of Halloween spirit left for its own haunted evening with the menacingly macabre metal sounds of thrash masters Overkill and Kreator.

Thursday, 8 p.m., World Cafe Live Wilmington, 500 N. Market St. Wilmington. Tickets: $20. 302-994-1400, http://queen.worldcafelive.com.

Thursday, 6:30 p.m., the Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. All ages. Tickets: $23.50, $26. 215-922-6888, www.thetroc.com.

The Theataaah (Slasher Division)

Dedicated to all things improvisational, Figment Theater's October show is its most bizarre; Slasher, an off-the-cuff, improv-ed, audience-interactive comic homage to horror cinema specific to the '70s and '80s. Who doesn't love theater that comes with a warning? " Slasher is suitable for mature audiences only. Improvised elements may include violence, strong language, nudity, or gore, and viewer discretion is advised." Audience members spin the big Wheel of Doom to decide everything from weapons drawn to where massacres may occur. After that, it's up to Figment's imagination as to where the blood spatters. Each of its nine cast members' skulls was fitted for the sake of beheading. So that will happen.

Friday through Sunday, 8 p.m., Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St. Tickets: $15, $25. www.figmenttheater.org.

Xfinity Live to the Xtreme

One of Philly's newest clubs hosts two Halloween season soirees. First, there's WMMR's on-air personality and all-around rooster-haired glam-guy Jacky Bam Bam hosting his "2d Annual Nightmare on Broad Street" on Saturday. On Halloween, Xfinity Live hosts its "1st Annual Haunted Mansion Bash" - 80,000 square feet of spider webs and smoke - with VIP sections for lovers of strong blood, I mean drink, performances by rapper Bubba Sparxxx, and a contest worth $5,000 in cash and prizes. Boo.

Saturday, 9 p.m. (a $10 bracelet permits drink purchases) and Thursday, 9 p.m. ($25 open bar cocktails), 1100 Pattison Ave. 267-443-6415, www.xfinitylive.com.

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