Staging the haunting musical “Ghost,” adapted from the hit 1990 film romance, offers CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale the chance to get into the Halloween spirit via some hair-raising stage magic.
“Every time a bad person dies in the show, there are very creepy special effects and sounds of them being dragged to the underworld,” director Patrick Grossman said.
Theatergoers can also scare up a Halloween-themed local regional theater night with productions of the horror classics “Dracula” and “The Turn of the Screw,” and the musicals “Jekyll & Hyde” and “The Addams Family.”
THE SHOW “Jekyll & Hyde”
WHEN | WHERE Through Oct. 26, Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson
INFO $20-$35; 631-928-9100, theatrethree.com
WHAT’S SO SCARY? The epic battle between good and evil “has violence and it has prostitutes,” artistic director Jeffrey Sanzel said. “It’s not horror movie scary, but it’s certainly not ‘Oklahoma!’ ”
TRICK Lead actor Alan Stentiford of Dix Hills transforms from Jekyll to Hyde in front of the audience, using only his voice and body.
TREAT This version restores a ballad, “Girls of the Night,” which has gained cult status since it was cut from the Broadway run, Sanzel said.
THE SHOW "The Turn of the Screw"
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Oct. 11-12 and 18-19 and 3 p.m. Oct. 13 and 20, Carriage House Theater, the Vanderbilt Museum Learning Center, 180 Little Neck Rd, Centerport.
INFO $20, $15 ages 12 and younger and 65 and older; vanderbiltmuseum.org
WHAT’S SO SCARY? Like the eponymous 1898 Henry James horror novella, the play lets the audience decide whether the orphaned brother and sister and their governess are actually seeing ghosts or just plain mad.
TRICK Two women play all of the characters. Elizabeth Sackett of Coram is the governess and chameleon-like Alissa Liebler of East Northport embodies the kids and the ghosts.
TREAT The Vanderbilt estate gets eerily quiet at night, plunging playgoers into the lonely English manor’s spooky setting the moment they park the car.
THE SHOW "The Addams Family"
WHEN | WHERE Oct. 19-Nov. 17, The Merrick Theatre and Center for the Arts, 2222 Hewlett Ave., Merrick
INFO $23; 516-868-6400, merrick-theatre.com
WHAT’S SO SCARY? Lurch sings.
TRICK A life-size monster puppet comes out from under Pugsley’s bed to tuck him in at night.
TREAT The showstopping tango that Kyle Cheng’s Gomez dances with Morticia (Lisa Engellis of Oceanside) do sets up one of the show’s biggest laughs. “Right before the tango, Gomez says, ‘Mi amor, creature of constant surprise, you have legs,’ ” says Cheng, who's from Merrick.
THE SHOW "Ghost"
WHEN | WHERE Oct. 12-Nov. 2, CM Performing Arts Center, 931 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale
INFO $18-$42; 631-218-2810, cmpac.com
WHAT’S SO SCARY? It’s a faithful scene-by-scene musical retelling of the movie, which Grossman calls, “a love story that gives you chills.”
TRICK Through the magic of stagecraft, books fly, other objects float and characters walk through walls.
TREAT For the famous “Unchained Melody” love-and-pottery-making scene, the actors are taking lessons at Earth’n Vessel Pottery Studio in Bay Shore, which is lending the potter’s wheel.
THE SHOW "Dracula"
WHEN | WHERE 3 and 8 p.m. Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 and 3 p.m. Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, Vail-Leavitt Music Hall
18 Peconic Ave., Riverhead
INFO $30; $25 ages 65 and older; 800-838-3006, draculatheplay.com
WHAT’S SO SCARY? They unearthed the original genre-launching Bela Lugosi-starring 1927 Broadway version. “It’s not camp, it’s not about seduction, it’s about how evil stalks the innocent and the vulnerable and unaware,” said director Charles Calabrese.
TRICK A professional magician will have a hand in dramatizing Drac’s bat-to-human transformation.
TREAT In a bit of casting against type, Renfield, Dracula’s cowering, spider-eating victim, is played by hulking 6-foot-4 Mark Swinson of Bay Shore.