You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why! Phantasmagoria reigned supreme at "Unholy Night," the 8th annual installment of Chaos & Candy, a musical extravaganza of the season created by the Winter Warlock himself, Adam Dugas at the Abrons Arts Center.
It was the nightmare before Krystmasse, an hour-and-a-half of non-stop heavy metal rocking and pagan incantations, with a cast including Theo Kogan, Yana Chupenko, Lizzy Yoder, Joseph Keckler and Amber Martin plus an ensemble of singers, dancers, puppeteers and a rock ‘n’ roll orchestra. The show was fantastic, full of scary costumes and special effects. With its mordant wit and Hendrix riffs, it was better than most of the Broadway shows I saw this year.
“That show was so damned good, I was almost annoyed it was over,” I told Martin, sidling up to the bar that she would later dance upon. The after-party was at nearby Fontana’s and the cast members came traipsing in, some of them still in face paint. Nothing like Hansel and Gretel sneaking up on you on the dance floor. Dugas, wearing an Unholy Night sweater, was doing some sort of watusi, his face a deathly gray. I asked him what kind of mind would dream up this show. “Chaos & Candy began as a way for me to explore the holidays. Nordic Yuletide legends are like fairy tales—full of strange beasts and characters who serve up vivid and violent warnings to children.” Oh, like the homeless guys on the 6 train?
“Those singers really belted it out,” enthused Renee Cafaro, a political consultant and singer herself who’d thrown a fundraising party for the show a few weeks ago in her apartment at the Plaza Hotel. She introduced me to Scott Jeffrey, who ran as the Libertarian candidate opposite Eliot Spitzer in 2002 on the marijuana platform. In retrospect, maybe he should have won. “Scott, don’t you remember me,” I shouted at him. Jeffrey was my neighbor on the Upper West Side for six years. I moved out and dumped my boyfriend and have since became so glamorous that he didn’t.
Feeling a helluva lot like candy myself after a few drinks, I went out into the bleak winter night to cause some serious chaos.