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 October 17 -19, we will be visiting Sleepy Hollow, New York to see how they celebrate the Halloween Season. We’ve scouted out the creepiest events, tours and attractions that the Headless Horseman’s hometown has to offer. We’ll be sharing our experience when we return, but here’s our guide to all things Sleepy Hollow.  

Celebrating Halloween In Sleepy Hollow

(and the surrounding areas.)

The Creepiest Halloween Events in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, and Croton-on-Hudson. 

HORSEMAN’S HOLLOW
Sleepy Hollow, New York
(Haunted House)

After the sun sets,the Historic Philipsburg Manor becomes Horseman’s Hollow. The historically accurate 18th century Haunted House, inspired by Washington Irving’s “Legend of Sleepy Hollow, spans both indoors and outdoors as guests follow a half-mile long candlelit path.


SLEEPY HOLLOW CEMETERY LANTERN TOUR
Sleepy Hollow, New York
(Guided Tour)

A 2-hour walking tour of the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in the dark.


OLD DUTCH CHURCH OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
Sleepy Hollow, New York
(Self-guided Tour)

The church and churchyard mentioned in Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”


JAY GHOUL’S HOUSE OF CURIOSITIES
Tarrytown, New York
(Haunted House)

Historic Lyndhurst Manor was used in the “Dark Shadows” films from the 1970s, and now hosts a seasonal haunted house at night. The architecture alone is terrifying. I can only imagine what waits inside.


LYNDHURST DAYTIME HALLOWEEN TOUR
Tarrytown, New York
(Guided Tour)

During the day, Historic Lyndhurst Manor offers guided tours to see the special autumnal decor and learn about the history of Halloween and how the Victorian times influenced many of the customs that we associate with Halloween.


GREAT JACK O’LANTERN BLAZE
Croton-on-Hudson, New York
(Walking Tour)

4,000 hand-carved illuminated Jack O’Lanterns create large scale art set to seasonal music.


More Sleepy Hollow

Can’t make a trip to Sleepy Hollow, NY? No worries. You can get your headless horseman fix from home or here in NYC.

 


SLEEPY HOLLOW
Mondays at 9PM/8PM Central on Fox
(Television Show)

The new television series premieres September 16 on FOX.


HOLLOW: A New Musical Inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
New York, New York
(Off-Broadway)

Saturdays at 5:00PM at The Players Theatre. Innovative Theatre Award Nominee.


SLEEPY HOLLOW
Amazon Instant Video
(Motion Picture)

The 1999 Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci.


DISNEY’S THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
Youtube
(Animated Film)

Disney’s 1949 animated classic has a legend of its own. Many people mistakenly believe that the film was banned.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_VsSckm3ws?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1&w=640&h=480]


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BLACKOUT: elements
164 11th Avenue
New York, NY

I attended a preview of BLACKOUT: elements on Saturday, September 7. Blackout Haunted House has developed a cult following for its extreme brand of immersive horror theater. Creators Josh Randall and Kristjan Thorgeirsson are infamous for obliterating the traditional rules and limitations of haunted attractions and bending the genre to encompass darker, more extreme, scare tactics.

This was the seventh Blackout event that I have attended. Having previously been faux-water-boarded and abducted in a van, I had no idea what to expect. Blackout Haunted House is many things, but it is never predictable.   

BLACKOUT: elements takes its inspiration from the four basic elements (earth, water, air, fire) and includes indoor exterior environments, unusual tasks and encounters with both odd and incredibly frightening, characters. The scares are still physical and psychological, but the experience feels less like an abduction and more like a journey through a ‘Narnia’ or ‘Wonderland’-like fantasy world gone terribly, terribly wrong. 

The interactive set requires climbing, crawling and feeling your way through paths obscured by fog or darkness. Forked paths require a choice be made and create the illusion of being in control of your fate. With multiple courses and tormentors, no two experiences are the same. The experience is a barrage of horror and phobia scenarios capable of triggering a wide range of emotions. The illusion of having control over how you explore the haunt makes the experience intensely personal and absolutely exhilarating.

It’s safe to say that you will experience nothing else like BLACKOUT: elements this Halloween season. You will want to buy tickets now, while you still can.

 

BLACKOUT: elements Runs

NEW YORK CITY | September 7 – Nov 10

LOS ANGELES |  October 4 – November 10

CHICAGO | December 2013

Ticket Information

Preview Performances:  $45.00  |  General Admission: $65.00 

Age Requirements

“No one under 18 permitted and you must walk through alone.”

Additional Information

Blackout Haunted House Reviews & Walk-Throughs

  • Blackout Haunted House Review (2012)
  • Blackout Haunted House Walk-Through & Review (2011)
  • Blackout Haunted House Walk-Through & Review (2010) 
  •  

    Blackout Haunted House Exclusive Invite-Only Off-Season Event Reviews & Walk-Throughs


    More Blackout Haunted House

    Blackout Haunted House will be featured on the Travel Channel:

    Halloween Craziest Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 13th, 2013, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdNpZ2sPL9M?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1&w=854&h=480]


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    Eli Roth’s Goretorium
    3717 Las Vegas Boulevard
    Las Vegas, NV

    Horror legend Eli Roth can create blockbuster films on a shoestring budget, so we were excited to see what kind of mayhem he would conjure up with $10 million and a prime location on the Las Vegas strip. Eli Roth’s Goretorium is Sin City’s first year round haunt and with the tag line, ‘You’re F#@ked’ it promises all the gore and terror that Eli Roth fans have come to know and love. 

    In typical Vegas fashion, upon entering you’re invited to sip on some liquid courage at Bloody Mary’s bar. The namesake drink is apparently all the rage (we didn’t get to try one) and comes in a gloriously bloody cup. Once you’ve had your fill of beverages, you’re led into the lobby of the haunt. You learn the history of the Delmont hotel, an iconic but unsavory family-owned establishment with rumors of missing guests, torture, cannibalism and worse. There’s a fun photo-op (what attraction would be complete without one?) and then you begin the tour of the hotel, where you’ll encounter buckets of blood, guts and gore. The haunt exits into the Babydoll Lounge, a club with soul-sucking views of the strip, libations and of course, a wall of creepy, creepy dolls. Shudder. Make sure you check out the bathrooms –they’re amazing! No Vegas attraction is complete without a Wedding Chap-Hell and gift shop; Goretorium has a plethora of bloody merchandise in case you don’t want to come home with a generic Vegas souvenir like fuzzy dice or the clap.

     

    Is It Scary? 

    Eli Roth Says: “We are creating the most intense live terror experience a person can have, incorporating the latest technology with old-fashioned scares. This will be the premiere haunted experience in the world, filled with all kinds of surprises. I’ve spent years planning this, and all my nightmares are finally coming true. No matter which haunted houses you’ve been through, you have never been through anything quite like the ‘Goretorium’.”

    The Raven & Black Cat saysGoretorium will splash you in the face with an unhealthy dose of gore.

    What We Loved

    We love the elevator bit in the beginning. The actors do a great job making it feel like a show and the effect is really fun. The body part infinity tunnel is a great use of an effect that is often florescent and cheesy; Goretorium manages to make it equally gross and disorienting.  We’re always amused by interactive elements, so the dry cleaning scene is one of our favorite parts. The partially burned bodies in toxic acid are the perfect excuse for a black light. The wax figures in the wedding chapel are super creepy, and the zombie reception guests do a great job of creating living, breathing scenery; you really feel like you’re walking into a zombie feast. The incredibly detailed, original sets combined with gruesome effects (dismemberment, burning flesh, and squirting blood) help Goretorium live up to its name.  

    What Could Be Better

    The set and effects designers are top notch. Everything is so gross and so detailed that you want to stop and study it; unfortunately the lighting is so poor that there are times you can barely tell where you’re supposed to go let alone see the sets in front of you. The lighting should guide you from room to room, showing you where to look to set you up for the scares. Speaking of which…where are the scares?

    Yes, Goretorium is jam packed with gore, but blood and guts don’t make you jump or scream.  While we applaud the use of actors as living scenery (one of our favorite things) there needs to be more startle scares to keep us on our toes. I appreciate that Sin City can get away with an R Rated haunt in terms of gore, sexual innuendo and language (one of our favorite moments was when an actor yelled, “Hey, Blondie!  Do the drapes match the curtains and can I have a taste?”) Unfortunately, I’m not sure if that’s enough to live up to the tag line, ‘You’re F#@ked.’ If you’re going to be an adult only, R Rated haunt then you should provide an option to be touched.

    Final Thoughts

    It seems like Goretorium is marketed towards Eli Roth’s hardcore horror fans, but designed for the touristy Vegas crowd. The sets are amazing, there’s tons of gore and it’s not so scary that the more timid haunted house crowd won’t make it through. As a bonus, Eli Roth promises to change it up seasonally, so we’re definitely looking forward to checking out Goretorium in the future.

    Eli Roth’s Goretorium Runs

    Year-Round

    Ticket Information

    Standard Admission:  $29.95 | Death Row VIP Pass: $50.00

    Chap-Hell Weddings: $666 and up (Includes VIP admission)

    Age Requirements

    No age requirements are specified.

    Additional Info

     

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2VGkL9x1UA?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1&w=854&h=480]


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    The Walking Dead Escape New York City takes over Pier 86 on Octobr 12th from 6:45pm – Midnight.  Experience a zombie apocalypse as a Survivor or a Walker and navigate an intense obstacle course.

    Tickets are currently available for purchase. Prices start at $65 for Survivors and $85 for Walkers. Ticket prices will continue to increase as the event date gets closer. 

     

    Additional Information


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    The Old Jail Museum Ghost Tour
    128 West Broadway
    Jim Thorpe, PA

    History

    Carbon County Prison  in Jim Thorpe, PA was modeled after Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary and was operational from 1871 until 1995. It may look like a miniature version of Eastern State, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in capital punishment. (There were never any executions held at Eastern State Penitentiary.) Not only were inmates executed at Carbon County Prison, but the gallows were located in the middle of the cell block for all to see. The site holds a place in history for the 1877 hangings of the ‘Molly Maguires,’ a group of Irish coal miners sentenced to death after a sensational and corrupt trial. After the prison closed its doors in 1995, it was reopened as the the Old Jail Museum.

    Our Visit

    We arrived in the adorable/creepy Victorian town of Jim Thorpe on a chilly Saturday evening to attend one of the Old Jail Museum’s seasonal ghost tours held on select Saturdays in October. Tours begin every 20 min and the line is entirely outdoors, so don’t forget your mittens. The guided ghost tour is an opportunity to experience the building at night with dim lighting.  Various ghost sightings and other unexplained events are recounted along the tour. The most famous is a ghostly hand print left behind by one of the Molly Maguires as proof of his innocence. The wall has been scrubbed, painted, and partially replaced and the eerie hand print remains.

    Is It Scary? 

    According to the Official Facebook Page: “Hear Tales of Strange Happenings & Hunt Ghosts!”

    The Raven & Black Cat says: No one is going to jump out and scare you, but the history and energy of the building is truly chilling. 

    What We Loved

    The story of the mysterious hand print is very creepy, but the most horrifying parts of the tour are the gallows at the end of the cell block and the dark basement dungeon used for solitary confinement. It’s terrifying to think about the fact that it was still being used as a prison as recently as 1995. 

    What Could Be Better

    The ghost tours are only held on select Saturdays in October and most likely staffed with local volunteers. The guides sharing the mysterious happenings ranged from high school students reading awkwardly from note cards to spirited amateur actors. Overall, we felt that the ghost tours would benefit from a less is more approach. The building is so incredibly scary that it can get into the Halloween spirit just by dimming the lights. Adding store bought Halloween decor to an actual prison dungeon comes off looking silly. A few flameless candles would be simple, elegant, and downright scary. 

    Final Thoughts

    Real life horror leaves something behind. You can feel it as soon as you set foot in the Old Jail Museum. If you find yourself in the Jim Thorpe area, the Old Jail Museum is a must see.   

    The Old Jail Museum Ghost Tours 2012 Season

    October 13, 20, 27

    Ticket Information

    General Admission: $10.00   |  Students: $7.00
     

    Age Requirements

    No children under 12 permitted. 

    Additional Information

    The Old Jail Museum 

    The Old Jail Museum 

    The Old Jail Museum 

    The Old Jail Museum 

    The Old Jail Museum 

    The Old Jail Museum 

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaHIht9lRO8?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1&w=640&h=480]


    The Raven & Black Cat Photo Coverage

     


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    Pottery Barn consistently offers the most elegant Halloween decor. I love their creepy Victorian-inspired style. Every year, I add a new piece to my collection. Here are a few of my favorites from Pottery Barn’s 2013 Halloween Shop. 

    Polished Nickel Candle Tray  ($129.00)

    Polished Nickel Candle Tray  ($129.00)

    Faux Burgundy Pumpkins ($19.50 - $39.50)

    Faux Burgundy Pumpkins ($19.50 – $39.50)

    Faux Bugs on Stand ($12.50 - $14.50)

    Faux Bugs on Stand ($12.50 – $14.50)

    Witches Brew Salad Plates ($38.00)

    Witches Brew Salad Plates ($38.00)

    Flameless Raven Pillar Candles  ($59.00 - $79.00)

    Flameless Raven Pillar Candles  ($59.00 – $79.00)

    Bird Cage  ($129)

    Bird Cage  ($129)

    Taper Candelabra ($39.50)

    Taper Candelabra ($39.50)

    Skeleton Hand Serving Set  ($19.50)

    Skeleton Hand Serving Set  ($19.50)

    Faux Crows ( $24.50)

    Faux Crows ( $24.50)

    Floating Candle String Lights  ($49.00)

    Floating Candle String Lights  ($49.00)


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    Fright Kingdom
    12 Simon Street
    Nashua, NH

                For 2012, Tim and Angela Dunn have teamed up with haunt veteran Steve Kopelman (The Nest and Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House) to create 70,000 scream inducing square feet of haunted house goodness. Fright Kingdom admission includes 5 different walk-through attractions:

    Apocalypse Z is a terrifying journey through a government quarantined, zombie infestation. Try to avoid contamination as you encounter infected prisoners and militants. Bloodmare Manor introduces you to the Victorian haunts of the Bloodmare family. This more traditional haunt features fun startle scares and creepy décor. Carnival Of Corpses is the circus themed 3D attraction starring a cast of demonic clowns and sideshow freaks. Grim features a twisting, turning maze of absolute darkness. As you feel your way through the dark, you encounter shocking pyrotechnics, shifting floors and hidden ghouls. The last haunt leads you through Vampire Castle where a throng of blood thirsty immortals invite you to be their guest of honor…for dinner.

     

    Is It Scary?

    Fright Kingdom
    proclaims
    : “We’re not Spooky, We’re Scary!”

    The Raven and Black Cat saysEveryone’s definition of spooky or scary is different, but with five varying themes Fright Kingdom provides an opportunity for everyone to be scared. Whether it’s zombies, vampires, clowns or complete darkness, 
    Fright Kingdom  will expose and embody your deepest fears. 

     

     

     

    What We Loved

    Long lines are practically impossible to avoid when it comes to haunted attractions, but Fright Kingdom does their best to entertain you while you wait. You’re free to roam the ‘Monster Midway’ – play gore inspired games, have your fortune read, and peruse autographed slasher movie posters while you wait for your party’s turn to enter the haunt. Between attractions, themed queues are packed with animatronics, creepy artifacts and detailed sets. Our favorite was a delightfully disorienting circus tent maze filled with maniacal clowns. 

    We love how the infirmary section of Apocalypse Z smells of sickness and decomposing flesh. The startle scares in Bloodmare Manor are really fun, especially the haunted staircase.

    Thank you for using plastic 3D glasses in Carnival of Corpses!  We can’t tell you how many times we’ve had those stupid paper glasses blown off our face by an air cannon. 

                Many haunted houses have a “pitch black” attraction or section that is meant to deprive you of your eyesight, but most fail to deliver a heart-stopping sensory deprivation experience that will leave you disoriented and blindly grasping the air. By virtually avoiding all spillover lighting, Grim successfully utilizes the universal fear of the unknown and forces participants to reach out and discover who and what is lurking within the labyrinth

     

     

    What Could Be Better

    The problem with traditional walk-through haunted houses is that sometimes traffic gets backed up, and groups get stuck in a room. Once the startle scare has been achieved, it can become awkward if the actor doesn’t know what to say or how to react when their victims linger rather than run. Creating a specific character for each actor, with an action and potential dialogue will help solve this problem. Building upon that, create a story for the entire haunt and think of the event having an arc. Vary the type of scares…loud, soft, slow, fast to keep guests on their toes. 

    Animatronics have many uses in a haunt, but when they’re outdated they can be silly and take you out of the moment. Hide older models in a mask of heavy fog or strobe and use them as a distraction for an actor to sneak in for a startle scare.

     

     

    Final Thoughts

    In a region where Halloween often brings sleet or snow, it’s nice to have a haunted option that’s entirely indoors. An indoor location also means the haunt owners can rework during the winter and maybe even offer off-season events – pretty, pretty, please? Fright Kingdom is more than a fun, traditional haunted house – it’s a whole nights worth of Halloween entertainment, and with it’s ‘Spooky’ competition offering lower quality haunts, outside for twice the price, it’s a fun affordable way to celebrate the Halloween spirit.

     

    Fright Kingdom 2012 Season

    September 28 – October 31

     

    Ticket Information

    General Admission: $17.00 – $24.00

    VIP Fast Pass: $22.00 – $29.00

     

    Age Requirements

    “New England FearFest recommends parental discretion for children under the age of 12. Although we will not refuse the entry of children, we ask each parent to make the judgment call, as you know your child best. If you think that you, or your children, just aren’t up for all the thrills and chills of New England FearFest, you should consider our “Hardly Haunted” Matinee Performance.”

     

    Additional Information

    Fright Kingdom 2012

    Fright Kingdom 2012

    Fright Kingdom 2012

    Fright Kingdom 2012

    Fright Kingdom 2012

    Fright Kingdom 2012


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    Las Vegas Haunts:
    Hotel Fear & Asylum
    Las Vegas, NV

    Hotel Fear and The Asylum have been spooking Las Vegas residents and visitors alike for more than 15 years! In that time, R&J Productions has been leading the way in developing trailer haunts: entirely mobile haunts that are self-contained within groups of customized trailers. We had never been to a trailer haunt and were excited to check out what the genre had to offer. It’s amazing what’s accomplished in such a small space. Both attractions explore the life of Mortimer Feoray, a troubled child that goes mad (Hotel Fear) and is eventually institutionalized (The Asylum). Even with a limited budget, Hotel Fear and The Asylum create a fun and innovative story-driven haunt that’s likely to make you scream for more.

      

    Is it Scary?

    R&J Productions says: This is the REAL DEAL…the Real Fear you NEED to experience!

    The Raven and Black Cat says: The Asylum and Hotel fear provide the perfect midrange haunt: it’s not too gory and it’s not so scary that you won’t make it through. You’ll be delightfully horrified by the carefully designed story and the actors will actually scare you out the door.

     

    What We Loved

    We love story-driven haunts! Hotel Fear starts out perfectly, picture this: You walk into an old Hollywood style hotel lobby. A sign says ‘ring bell for service’. The moment you ring the bell the lights go out and chaos ensues. It’s fantastic. You’re sent on a quest to find Mortimer in Room 13, but that’s no easy task. The hotel is specifically designed to trap and confuse you. Many rooms have hidden doors and it creates an awesome feeling of distress that you’ll never make it out alive! The key to this scare tactic is the small size and ample spacing between groups.  There is plenty of time to get lost in the maze of the hotel without creating a backup, and if you’re the least bit claustrophobic you’ll be terrified. The fact that both haunts stay true to the theme adds to the realistic nature of the scares. Every scene supports the story and every scare is designed around the theme- you get lost in the story and experience some fun scares along the way.

     

    What Could Be Better

    There were a few actors that really stood out, particularly the woman in the spa and the man in the white out room – they encouraged you to interact with them and were very successful at creating the perfect atmosphere and set up for the scares to follow. Unfortunately, many of the other actors utilize the scream-in-your-face tactic, which is much less effective. Not every actor is a star and not every actor is able to improvise, but vary the tone and tempo of the startle scares. A whisper is often creepier than a scream and discovering a silent actor in a pitch black hallway would be truly disturbing. Use the actors as living set pieces and get rid of some of the tired animatronics. We love the sections of complete darkness – our first reaction is to reach out for the walls, so make them feel sticky or wet, and maybe add some elements of unsure footing to add to the disorientation.  

    It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on younger actors.  Unfortunately, we spotted one high school age asylum patient listening to her ipod. 

     

    Final Thoughts

    If you’re tired of haunts that jump from theme to theme just for the sake of a scare, then Hotel Fear and The Asylum are your new haven of horror. 

     

    Las Vegas Haunts 2012 Season

    October 3 – October 31

    Ticket Information

    Hotel FearGeneral Admission: $15.00   |  VIP: $20.00

    Asylum: General Admission: $15.00   |  VIP: $20.00

    Combo Pass: $25.00   |  VIP Combo Pass: $35.00

    Additional Information


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    For our September Giveaway, we will be awarding 2 tickets to the ‘Spirited Stroll Through Green-Wood’ Cemetery Walking Tour on either October 26th or 27th from 1pm-3pm in Brooklyn.

    “Celebrate the fall season with tales of murder, mayhem, spirits and ghosts on our annual autumn tours led by Green-Wood Historian Jeff Richman.

    Visit the graves of The Wizard of Oz, George Washington’s favorite dentist, the founders of Spiritualism, and many more. The tour includes a visit to the Catacombs, usually closed to the public.

    Get into the autumnal mood and enjoy a cool, crisp day exploring our 478 acres of beautiful fall foliage.”

     

    The deadline to enter is 12:00 AM on September 30, 2013. 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


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    Tickets are currently on sale for the NYC production of BLACKOUT: elements, a new immersive theater experience from Blackout Haunted House. Buy your tickets early before they sell out. A little bird told us that an ‘element’ of choice will make you want to experience the haunt more than once.   

    We will be attending a preview performance Saturday, September 7th. 

    Look Out NYC. Blackout is Back!  

     

    From the Official Press Release: 

    After five years of revolutionizing the haunted house industry, BLACKOUT will premiere a new type of horror theater this fall: BLACKOUT:elements. The immersive performance takes inspiration from the four basic elements, thrusting BLACKOUT fans into an intense world of fear unlike anything they’ve experienced before. After signing a waiver, all audience members must walk through the experience completely alone. Immersing themselves in the elaborately designed set pieces, audience members are forced to interact with the characters in a series of twisted and petrifying scenarios. 

    Longer, more intimate, and significantly more intense; BLACKOUT:elements takes terror to a whole new level. Each experience is approximately 30 minutes per person. Tickets start at $65 and can be purchased through the website: www.blackouthh.com 

     

    NEW YORK CITY: Sat, September 7th – Sun, November 10th, 7pm-11pm

    at the VORTEX THEATER, 164 Eleventh Avenue, New York, NY 10011

    Advanced reservations strongly recommended.

     

    LOS ANGELES: Fri, October 4th – Sun, November 10th, 7pm-11pm 

    at the VARIETY ARTS CENTER, 940 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

    Advanced reservations strongly recommended.

     

    CHICAGO: December, 2013

    Specific dates and Location to be announced soon

     

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdNpZ2sPL9M?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1&w=854&h=480]



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