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Theater of Death is coming back for Halloween in Madrid

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SANTA FE, N.M. — Musician-about-town Joe West has announced the return of his “Theater of Death.” This series is called “The Absinthe Plays.”

While many have known him as a singer and guitar player, West has said his roots are in the theater and he particularly likes the Grand Guignol style from Paris in the early 20th century, where thriller, horror and generally sordid topics were enjoyed by the youthful elites in search of a “slumming” experience.

Rehearsals have started on the latest series of plays — others were performed in May — that will be presented in late October and early November in the Engine House Theater in Madrid. And, yes, West tells us, the theater will be heated.

And how appropriate that Halloween will fall right in the middle of the run.

Each weekend will feature a different musical guest to offer entertainment between the short plays. And maybe even during. For Oct. 24-26, the opening weekend, Sharon Gilchrist, who was featured on the cover of mandolin magazine, will be playing.

Audience members will be able to find meals in the nearby Mineshaft Tavern, which will have a selection of absinthe (domestic and imported) on the bar menu, according to West’s announcement.

That highly alcoholic beverage, by the way, a product of wormwood and botanicals, was once believed to cause hallucinations, but that claim either was highly exaggerated or the ingredient that once produced that influence has been filtered from the spirit in modern days.

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