Rogue Artists Ensemble (creators of the excellently eerie immersive play Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin) are launching the new year with a one-night carnival-style party titled Carousel of Fools at the Santa Monica Pier on January 25. Billed as an “immersive sideshow,” the event promises games, live performances, magicians, sword swallowers, mermaids, land sharks, carousel rides, tarot readers, naughty finger puppets, a monster truck ballet, a fire-breathing chicken, stilt walkers, and a (stationary) blacklight dark ride.
Though not billed as a horror experience, Carousel of Fools certainly sounds sinister, a bit like Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, with a mysterious carnival manifesting in the dead of winter for a night of “mayhem and wonderment.” The event will also preview of Rogue Artist Ensemble’s upcoming offerings, Schlitzie: Alive and Inside the Decaying Sideshow.
Set inside the pier’s Looff Hippodrome, Carousel of Foos is organized like an old-fashioned carnival, with an entrance fee and entertainment and activities available for additional fees, so that guests may customize their own experience. At the high end is “The Apothecary of Stories,” an immersive experience in which a mysterious traveler arrives to reveal the hidden stories of the Carousel.
Prices start at $40 for entry tickets (including a carousel ride and entertainment on the main stage). $60 buys a drink ticket and six activity tickets; the $120 level includes two drink tickets and twenty activity tickets; the $240 level includes unlimited drinks, activities and entry into the Apothecary of Stories (limited spots available). All proceeds benefit Rogue’s 2024 season. Purchase tickets here.
Carousel of Fools runs on Thursday, January 25 from 8pm to midnight. The Looff Hippodrome is located at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. The address is 380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica.