At midnight the day before the curtain rises on Theater Bizarre, Detroit’s premiere Halloween-themed immersive theater experience, a crowd gathers outside the rear door at the Masonic Temple. Smoke drifts towards the building’s pitched roof, and John Dunivant, a slight man with an intriguing collection of facial piercings and tattoos, talks about the bad old days when performers had a long way to go to and from the dressing rooms.
“They used to be all the way up,” he said, gesturing with his cigarette to a green-lit room at least four stories up. He shakes his head, and talk drifts back to performers and plans and a seemingly endless list of tasks to complete with just 18 hours remaining till the gala on October 14th. Volunteers come and go at all hours, and Jason McCombs encouraged me to come “whenever.”