The Broadway Beat's Official Budget-Friendly Halloween Costume Guide
by Edward Precht. @pertoltprecht.
Halloween is just around the corner, meaning there’s bound to be a costume party or two in your future. Unfortunately, most Broadway-themed costumes – like the shows that inspire them – can be pricey.
Here’re some fun, easy, and budget-friendly costume ideas for those of you who, like us, want to treat ourselves this spooky season.
KING KONG PUPPET
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 8,000 pipe cleaners (in various shades of black, brown, and gray)
Make a King Kong Puppet costume out of 8,000 pipe cleaners. Have a friend make a giant snake costume out of pipe cleaners (instructions not included in this article). Fight in the middle of the living room, causing a huge mess. Get asked to leave early, despite all your hard work.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A candy necklace, your grandmother
Have your grandmother go to the party in your place. When everyone asks where you are, have her say, “It is me! I am Kimberly Akimbo! I'm almost out of candy necklaces and must find more, per the plot of the musical!” Repeat enough times until it’s clear you haven’t seen the show.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Sensible clothes, dedicated friends
Wander around the party. Every so often, have one of your friends look at you and go, “Oh, I didn’t know Reed Birney was in this. Nice.”
THE MALE LEAD IN ANY AND EVERY “MODERN” SHAKESPEARE ADAPTATION SINCE THE LATE 1970s
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Dress pants, a white shirt (partially unbuttoned), bare feet
Look a little disheveled. Spend the rest of the night trying to convince everyone you aren’t dressed as a “lawyer who took an impromptu trip to the beach.”
A BROADWAY PRODUCER
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Money (most of it irresponsibly gained and irresponsibly spent)
Go to the local thrift store and fill your arms with as much vintage crap as you can carry (80s and 90s styles preferred). It doesn’t matter if it’s poor quality or derivative or out of fashion, as long as it’s from a brand everyone used to love. Have an unwitting group of tourists pay for your shopping spree. Immediately set the clothes on fire. Keep doing this ad infinitum, even though you keep promising everyone this’ll be the last time.
RUM TUM TUGGER FROM CATS
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Your old Rum Tum Tugger outfit
This one’s easy – you’ve already got the costume! It’s hidden deep beneath your bed, in a box you affectionally call the Shame Chest! It’s folded neatly between a DVD copy of Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical and an unsigned Between the Lines Playbill.
Take it out of the Shame Chest. Look at it in the fading light. Try it on – feel the fabric give way to the familiar curves of your body, the creases stretching and aligning with your form as they did so many times before. Stare at yourself in the mirror. Feel something indescribable – not quite sadness, not quite comfort – well up inside you.
Stay home. Do not go to the party. You are Rum Tum Tugger now, and they cannot tell you what to do.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A mouse costume
Bet you thought we’d talk about the Balthazar’s thing, huh? Nope. Remember when this fucking guy dressed up as a mouse and danced in the middle of the street to promote Cinderella? Do you remember that? He held up traffic. I missed my son’s ballet recital because some jackass in Chuck E. Cheese cosplay was twerking against my car.
I’m so mad just thinking about it. My son won’t call me “Dad” anymore because James Corden is a menace. He’s a menace and we gave him too much power and he must be stopped.
DIVERSITY ON BROADWAY
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: You were not invited to the party.