Posts Tagged ‘Detroit Opera House’

Haunted In The House

Detroit Opera House artfully showcases the spooky

By John Horn

The Detroit Opera House isn’t exactly a scary place; quite the contrary, actually. But come 10/30, the landscape inside all of that regal architecture gets decidedly spooky for one of the most distinct parties of the season.

The lights change, the cobwebs appear, the smoke filters in and patrons, dressed to their Halloween nines, will thrill to what organizers hope is an epic Halloween bash amid the stunning and captivating backdrop that is the Opera House.

Haunted in The House at the DOH takes the Halloween-themed party to slightly classier heights but does so without being pretentious. The venue itself is breathtaking. Why? Because it’s an opera house, that’s why. The architecture and detail in this Detroit gem create a visage that can render visitors —  those of both the first- and long-time variety — agape at the mouth, rubbery at the neck and silent in the voice.

Take that foundation, dress it up for Halloween, pack it with costumed revelers, and you have the trappings of an event that defies what we’ve come to expect in the season’s parties.

“The main reason why we made this is because we looked around and saw that there really wasn’t a cool, high-end event that was out there,” says co-organizer Sean Harrington. “There were a couple of events, but they didn’t have the cache of, say, the Opera House.”

Readying for Haunted in The House is quite the transformation, Harrington says. The big chandelier comes down and is draped with material. Smoke machines, spider webs, creepy lighting and lasers also add spooky elements to the revered venue.

“When you get in there and see what we do, it’s really kind of cool,” Harrington says. “It’s straight out of Scooby-Doo.”

What’s also very cool is that proceeds from Haunted in The House benefit the funding-strapped Opera House. Thus, your enjoyment is two-fold. Dress up hard and throw down in arguably one of the finest architectural gems in the city and, at the same time, help sustain that very building and the cultural greatness generated between its walls.

“You can do something good and support culture in Detroit,” Harrington says. “I’m not sure how many people appreciate the Opera House. Whether you are into operas or not into operas, it is a chance to experience this cultural icon.

“While we do not have a million-person population and the state itself is on hard times, we actually have an opera house,” says Harrington, “which is mind-blowing when you look at other cities.”

The first event was held in 2009 and came about as a way for the community to become part of the Opera House. Last year’s success led to a repeat engagement.

“After the astounding success of our first year, we’ve decided to bring it back and make it even bigger,” says Michigan Opera Theater Director of Development, Mary Parkhill.

Also blowing minds will be the lineup for the evening. Forget for a moment that you are throwing much-needed support to the Opera House, or that you are basically trick-or-treating with cocktails and snacks in a historic former movie palace built in 1922. Party people can enjoy two floors of costumed festivities while enjoying the work of Detroit Circus. DJ Tom T will spin. Specialty drinks at the cash bar will be plentiful, as will candy treats. Midnight snacks come courtesy of Sander’s Fine Chocolatiers, Tubby’s Southgate and Zumba Mexican Grille.

Cash prizes will be awarded for best costumes, with judging and awards at midnight. Harrington adds that the witching hour will hold a special, secret surprise, but he remains tight-lipped on specifics.

The Opera House’s stage and main seating area are closed off for the party, leaving people to mingle throughout the rest of the house, namely the main and upper floor spaces between Broadway and Madison. Harrington says this lends itself to a more inviting party dynamic.

“It compacts and keeps everyone together,” he says. “You can stand by the railings and check out the costumes. This way it really does keep everyone jammed together, being out in a true social event.”



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