Some of the most memorable songs from Joe Iconis' breakout show Be More Chill take place at a Halloween party, a location that serves as a metaphor for the theme of performing a new identity for social acceptance. And since performances began February 13 at the Lyceum Theatre (with an official opening scheduled for March 10) that scene earns its place in the Broadway canon
Iconis recently told Playbill that “when we wrote the show [which premiered in 2015], there weren’t actually any other musicals with Halloween Party blowout sequences, so just by existing, we were automatically the greatest. Now we’ve got some competition.” That competition came in the form of Mean Girls, which opened on Broadway on April 8, 2018.
While it's true that the Halloween parties in Mean Girls and Be More Chill are especially similar in the function they serve in the musical, Halloween parties—or at least costume parties—have actually been a part of musical theatre since the earliest days, though they became scarce in recent years.
Here, with the resources of the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts, Playbill looks at seven times costume balls and Halloween parties grabbed the spotlight: