Zombo pulls the plug on Theatre Bizarre this year, promises vengeance-fueled return in 2021

click to enlarge TREVER LONG
Trever Long

There you have it, folks. The pandemic officially canceled Halloween and all things hedonistic, and honestly, we want Satan to choke us.

The greatest masquerade on Earth, better known as Theatre Bizarre, is officially canceled.

According to a post on Tuesday, organizers said they tried to envision what the post-COVID-19 world would look like come fall, but it was ultimately the safety and well-being of the event's volunteers, performers, and guests that informed the decision to cancel the 2020 soiree, regretfully referred to as The Slumbering, with plans to continue the tradition in 2021.

“Theatre Bizarre has grown from an annual event to a thriving community of misfits, makers, performers and lovers of the macabre,” the Facebook post reads. That sense of community will be missed this year just as much as the event itself. Please continue to support each other and stay connected through this strange time.”

For the last nine years, Theatre Bizarre has transformed Detroit's historic Masonic Temple into a mischievous hedonist hellscape akin to an immersive R-rated — or in some cases X-rated — choose-your-own-nightmare.

The costume-mandatory spectacle, which takes place on back-to-back weekends in October, boasts six performance stages and 21 performance spaces possessed by burlesque dancers, music performances, sideshow acts, circus demons, fire jugglers, and suspension artists.

While there are scheduled events, Theatre Bizarre is also a master class in creating immersive experiences, many of which are hidden, that include a trip on a functioning Ghost Train, a human absinthe fountain, a Victorian ice cream parlor, erotic cinema, and the Fistatorium, which is exactly what it sounds like.

To see just what won't be going down this year, browse our photos from 2019 and 2018. And as always, Hail Zombo.

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