Come one and come all to The annual Edwardian Ball, an evening to remember! The ball’s producers, Rosin Coven and Vau de Vire Society, moved the event from the Fonda Theatre, in Hollywood to The Globe Theater in our own DTLA. It is a mixture of fashion & cosplay, theater, circus, fine art, stage performances, live music & a DJ, dark comedy, literature and ballroom dancing set in a romanticized Neo-Victorian/Edwardian gothic past at the Globe. Each turn is an elegant alternate reality into the world that the late surrealist illustrator and author imagined to be. Gorey stories are set in a time that is vaguely Victorian, Edwardian and Jazz Age all at once. His picture books are deadpan accounts of murder, disaster and discreet depravity- “The Fatal Lozenge,” “The Deadly Blotter,” “The Hapless Child,” “The Haunted Tea-Cosy.” He obviously so inspired Tim Burton as well as Neil Gaiman, the author of the novella “Coraline.” and Rob Reger, creator of the goth gamine Emily the Strange.
The night was nothing short of a steampunk dream. As soon as you walk through the doors, you are instantly transported into a wondrous world full of dim but colorful lighting, whimsical decorations and all walks of life dressed in fashionable steampunk, Edwardian era hybrid outfits. Two floors and one balcony, the Edwardian Ball was filled with great marvels at every turn. On the balcony, you have a great view of the stage that included acts such as a swinging jazz performance by Holy Crow Jazz Band, the old school cabaret act of Le Cancan Bijou, aerial acrobatics & other performances by Vau de Vire Society. Including their live performance of this year’s Edward Gorey story, “The Deadly Blotter.”
The main stage floor projected animations on a big screen while the DJ played music in between acts. Mystical oddities, sideshows, absinthe bars, and an old automatic pencil sharpener also sporadically spread throughout the floor. Once down in the theatre’s lower level, you ran into a live band, a free portrait booth, more bars, as well as a few artisan vendors like Miss Havisham’s Curiosities, who had a beautiful collection of fine china including insult tea cups and a charming little collection of taxidermy novelties. Also on the lower level was the very charming Super Tall Paul and his listening lounge for a funky little break from the beautiful madness.
Edward Gorey’s popularity has been posthumous and to make sense of it, makes no sense at all because it almost seems as though it’s supposed to be that way. Perhaps it’s the contrast between today’s world and his stories that provide an escapism from it all. But this years turn out to the event shows that more and more people are becoming major fans of Gorey’s work. To quote Daniel Handler AKA Lemony Snicket, “When I was first writing ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events,’ I was wandering around everywhere saying, ‘I am a complete rip-off of Edward Gorey,’ and everyone said, ‘Who’s that?’ Now, everyone says, ‘That’s right, you are a complete rip-off of Edward Gorey.’” Gorey Fans were somewhat of a secret society wearing their pieces like a Mason ring and now the numbers have grown tremendously. Fantastical gala events are on the rise in popularity, but the Edwardian Ball maintains the same timeless inspiration that has influenced it’s operation each year for 17 years to honor the master of high-camp macabre.