b'Costumes Under CoverMaplewood family keeps an annual Halloween secretBY ELLEN DONKERClockwise from top left: Brian Crowe as the Riddler, Walter Egbert as The Joker, Xander as The Penguin, and Izzie as Cat-woman. Bottom left: Izzie and Walter as Pebbles and Fred Flintstone, the first year they dressed up as a family. Bottom right: Walter Egbert and Izzie in costume for Alice in Wonderland.H alloweenisafavoriteholidayroles of the Riddler, Joker, Catwoman, and Penguin.business. Its hard not to breath a word, especially for Walter Egbert, Brian CroweIn 2017 they inhabited the characters from Roaldwhen youre a kid. Whats more, family and friends and their two children XanderDahls story James and the Giant Peach. Their cos- of all ages pester them for the inside track. To satisfy and Izzie. For this family, liketumes have also been inspired from stories such ascurious minds, Egbert gradually releases clues on his many,itsallaboutthecos- How to Train Your Dragon, Where the Wild ThingsInstagram feed. Crowe says, He drives all of our tumes,buttheytakedressingAre, and The Wizard of Oz. The theme that start- friends completely crazy. Theyre furious because the up to a whole new level.ed the tradition was The Flintstones. The childrenclues make no sense. And you see the costume and Lastyearwere just nine months old when Egbert and Crowetheyre like oh, yeah, that thefamilydressed them as Pebbles and Bam Bam. makes perfect sense.dressed up asAfter nine years of costume-making, the stakesThe impetus for mak-Batmansu- for originality are high. Although the family startsingsuchgrandHallow-pervillains,brainstorming ideas for the next year as soon as Hal- een costumes comes from wowingtheloween is over, Labor Day is when they commit toCrowe, who works as the crowdsintheir theme and start designing the costumes in ear- directorofeducationat Maplewoodsnest. To make the cut, the theme must have fourtheShakespeareTheatre H a l l o w - recognizable characters, the kids should have a con- ofNewJersey.Hisjob eenparadenection to them, and the project must lend itself totitledoesntencompass astheyas- fun and creativity. costumedesign,buthe sumedtheOf course, all of this is conducted as top secrethastaughthimselfover 48/ matters magazine / fall 2019'