When composer and multi-instrumentalist David Pierce has a plan, the results can be so good it’s frightening. Last year, he put together the inaugural Cirque du Horror show in Denton by assembling several dozen of his favorite musicians, actors, and dancers. The vaudeville-like Halloween production was such a success that Pierce and company have rented Dan’s Silverleaf for three shows this Halloween weekend.


An ogre’s circus will be the theme of this year’s production, a collection of skits coupled with original music compositions. Viewers will follow a boy who gets trapped inside a sinister snow globe while listening to music that has a “worldly gypsy vibe,” Pierce said.


Cirque du Horror is PG enough to welcome children of all ages, but adults will enjoy the complex music and “creepy innuendo.” Pierce ran his ideas by the kids in his family, and when band members described some of the songs as “incredibly dark,” Piece wondered if some of his young family members “may be demented.”

Drummer Robert Hamilton, whom Pierce describes as a “killer artist,” contributed original spooky artwork for animation. Radio host and musician Paul Slavens and others will narrate as the Cirque du Horror goes from creepy to scary to outlandish. “You never know what will be in the next tent,” Pierce promised.

The band for the show is composed of more than 20 professional musicians. Once again dressed as skeletons, they’ll be playing horns, drums, and strings. Pierce, who composes and arranges for many projects, including the excellent Cuban band Mi Son, Mi Son, Mi Son, trusts his pros enough to let them interpret the songs in the way they feel is best. “It is easy to work with the right kind of people,” he said. “I let them go more and dig deeper, so there is more to sink your teeth into.” Scary, yes — scary good. — Caroline Collier


Cirque du Horror is at 9pm Fri-Sun at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St, Denton. Tickets are $12 adults, $7 kids. Call 940-320-2000.