'Thriller' Performance Shut Down by Halloween-Stealing City Grinches

Flash mob recreations of the "Thriller" video have broken out of wedding reception halls and Filipino prison yards in recent years to become something of a rite of Halloween passage. But try telling that to the fascist city officials of Boca Raton, who have shut down this year's planned "Thriller" extravaganza, and in doing so, made Halloween Jesus cry.

Local resident Rick Newman is one of those robotics nerds who spends thousands of dollars every Halloween to turn his home into a high-tech haunted wonderland. This year, Newman wanted to make the event something really special, so he recruited 30 kids to perform "Thriller" in his driveway — which earned a letter from the city saying the endeavor is a "commercial activity," and therefore forbidden in a residential neighborhood.

"Fundamentally, what he's doing is not customarily associated with residential use," Deputy City Manager George Brown said. "Performing live dance shows on the property and inviting people into the neighborhood via advertising qualify it as commercial activity."

Newman counters that a "yard sale would be more commercial than this." The dancers, aged 7 to 18, have been rehearsing for six months for the event. Needless to say, they'll "be devastated" if the show does not go on, according to Julie Coursey, owner of Jewel's Dance Studio! Surely someone will come to their senses in time — for no mere protocol drone can resist the evil of the "Thriller." [SunSentinel.com, Photo via Jerk with a Camera's Flickr]