What's it about?
Sleepy Hollow the Musical follows the story of Ichabod Crane, a professor who wanders from town to town teaching. His latest venture brings him to Tarrytown, which has been experiencing mysterious disappearances and gruesome decapitations in its nearby woods, Sleepy Hollow. During his stay he meets and falls in love with Katrina Van Tassel, who happens to be in love with Brom Van Brunt, a man who has no intention of marrying her. In order to win Brom’s affection, Katrina starts a rivalry between the two, which ends in a fateful run in with the Headless Horseman.
What did I experience?
After traveling through a storm that broke my umbrella and drenched me to the bone, I finally arrived at the theater. As I open the door, fog bellows from within the building along with an eerie dim light. The mood was pretty much perfect for what I was about to watch.
The show was at the Players Theatre on MacDougal Street and Bleecker, which is a very lively part of Soho. Plus the theater is right next to an Artichoke Pizza and Insomnia Cookies, so already it gets bonus points. Inside the theater was pretty small and intimate, and they had the fog machine turned up to what seemed like an 11 out of a possible 10, which layered the floor and gave the the theater a perfectly spooky vibe. The set was a few props and various sized pieces of cloth that had different images projected onto them to make the different settings: the Hollow, the Church, & the Tavern. With the lights on it looked a little dumb but once the lights were turned off and the fog machine filled the room it looked pretty awesome.
The show opened with Ichabod Crane finding his way through Sleepy Hollow, with these two ghosts following him around which were actually very unsettling. They were wearing the typical ghostly tattered robes, but the part that made them genuinely creepy was the fact that they were wearing those transparent masks with some blood splattered on them. That's something I loved a lot about this show, the costumes. All of them looked like actual clothing rather than a costume, especially the Headless Horseman. He didn't look like some cheesy Halloween costume where you can obviously see where the person's head is. He just looked like this towering, headless man. It even made a little girl in the row in front of me move to the back row just because she thought he was real. Aside from the few scared little girls and boys the rest of the show went as I hoped it would. People say don't go into the Hollow. People go into the Hollow. People lose their heads. It's the legend of the Headless Horseman and Sleepy Hollow, which is always a fun story. Plus, when the Horseman decapitated someone this really cool flaming skull animation filled up the stage.
I was expecting to hear a lot of creepy and interesting music in the show, and those expectations were definitely met. When I left the theater though, I found it hard to remember any of the songs aside from "Not in Love Song" and the one in the Tavern about the legend of the Horseman, both of which are still stuck in my head. They even made a pun where one character said "Don't lose your head" to Ichabod, where I probably laughed way more than I should have. It was a great way to start off my October and get me into the Halloween spirit.