One of the best house displays we’ve seen anywhere, ever, is located at 4133 Chowen Avenue in South Minneapolis. It’s a high school prom scene, complete with skeletons dancing in billowy dresses and dapper tuxedos, an EDM DJ, boneheads making out in a corner, wet-blanket chaperones, a lonely girl no one has asked to dance, and a class clown spiking the punch bowl.
The brains behind the Hollywood-caliber setup are Viva and Brian Carr, a casting director and screenwriter who moved to the Twin Cities after spending most of their careers in Los Angeles. They lived in St. Paul first, but this is their second year staging an elaborate Halloween scene in their Linden Hills’ front yard. (Last year’s setup was a college rager with skeletons playing beer pong.)
The mutual Halloween obsession started several years ago, when the couple dressed up a skeleton in a boa and sunglasses and placed him in front of the family piano. His name? Skeleton John. It grew from there, with the Carrs setting up skeletons around a bonfire in the backyard and eventually wiping out a Walgreens having a two-skeletons-for-$30 sale post-Halloween.
Viva says Brian deserves 90 percent of the credit for the detailed stagings. His pandemic hobby was taking apart store-bought skeletons that could only move in a few basic directions and rewiring their digits and limbs to be more expressive. (Notice the clasped hands on the teenage dancers and the peace sign thrown by the punch spiker.) The clothing was sourced secondhand from Goodwill and Viva made many of the props herself — including that illicit pour of Johnnie Walker.
The display, which has made the Carr kids minor celebrities at school, has spilled into the neighbor’s yard. They hope to one day take over the entire block and are already debating next year’s theme.
Wanna see it for yourself? The prom scene looks even cooler at night, thanks to custom lighting, a disco ball, and a totally awesome ‘80s/‘90s soundtrack. If you can’t make it there on Halloween, swing by one day this week — the Carrs won’t break down the set until the first weekend in November. Just don’t come sniffing around at Christmas, hoping for another extravagant lawn show.
“Halloween is our thing,” says Viva. “By Christmas, Mom’s inside with a bottle of wine.”
Halloween Prom Scene
4133 Chowen Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN; no phone.