This isn’t your typical Halloween party! Expect to be mesmerized by the enigma that is Theatre Bizarre. This fully immersive experience transcends everything you think you know about traditional October 31 festivities. Featuring everything from sideshow circus acts to burlesque performances, this year’s “The Great Deception” theme is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Carnivalesque in nature, Theatre Bizarre is a highly anticipated annual event held at Detroit’s Masonic Temple, the largest of its kind in the world, located in the Cass Corridor of downtown Detroit. Envision moving anonymously from room to room, performance to performance, through elaborately decorated hallways until the wee hours of the morning. Yes, it’s that type of masked party.
In its eighth year at the Masonic, this art installation/magic show/music concert/indescribable wonder has taken over Detroit’s costume scene. But, it didn’t start at the Masonic. For John Dunivant, the creator and mastermind behind Theatre Bizarre, what began as one night of guerrilla theatre near the old Michigan State Fairground for friends and family during the 1990s became an underground hit with hundreds of attendees returning every year. It was shut down in 2010; nevertheless, Theatre Bizarre obtained a secure and legal home with the Masonic in 2011.
Year after year, the themes, performances, décor and everything in between exceed expectations. There are two consecutive weekends of magical, mischievous fun. Each weekend begins with an exclusive Friday preview gala for up to 500 guests, followed by a larger main party on Saturday for up to 5,000 attendees. These events showcase mature content; therefore, one must be 21 years old to attend. A valid photo ID is required to enter.
The Masquerade Gala
The Masquerade Gala will be held for two consecutive Fridays on October 12 and 19. These affairs are more intimate and formal experiences of the Theatre Bizarre. With only a few hundred guests allowed and a stricter dress code (as opposed to the main event), the curated showcase comes at a higher price. This exclusive affair is $260.00 per person and offers various forms of entertainment, an open bar, lavish cocktails, strolling dinner and a guided tour through the art installation.
The Masquerade Gala is a strict costume-mandatory event. You won’t see any Frappuccino costumes at this masquerade gala. There is also a formal/semi-formal requirement and masks are non-negotiable. Not even the Marie Antoinette gown from the Halloween store will cut it. Think of your favorite historical romance or Venetian Carnival ensemble, and if that doesn’t get the ball rolling, you can ensure your suit and/or gown meets the requirements for entry here.
The main Theatre Bizarre event will be held on the following Saturdays, October 13 and 20. These events are not formal nor as strict with costuming, but still costume mandatory. Prices for these tickets are $105.00. With 8 floors of art installations to cover with world-class burlesque shows, 20 band performances, circus sideshow acts and hundreds of performers, these nights are sure to be ones to remember!
So, step right up ladies and gentlemen! Don’t be afraid, magic and mystery awaits.
Masquerade Gala: Friday, October 12 and 19
Theatre Bizarre: Saturday, October 13 and 20
21 & up to enter!
Detroit Masonic Temple
500 Temple Street
Detroit, MI 48201
- Tickets to Friday’s Masquerade Gala
- Electronic tickets to Saturday’s Theatre Bizarre are NO LONGER AVAILABLE ONLINE! You can still purchase physical tickets for Saturday nights main event from local retailers. Some retailers are offering 10% off discounts when purchased in-store. $5 service fee may apply.