The LACMA Muse Costume Ball is one of Los Angeles's hottest Halloween tickets, and with the wildly popular Tim Burton exhibit in its final days and KROQ jumping on board, Saturday's sold out Dead Man's Ball came with an especially large amount of hype.
The attendees were dressed in professional-grade costumes that could have come out of the movies -- many probably did. There were a few over the top French 18th century costumes, Vikings and even a River Song who purchased her costume right from the Dr. Who costume department.
There were themed drinks, catering, costume contests and an over-the-top photo booth the size of a small room with a Baphomet, a coffin and assorted skulls and horns throughout. The décor included sets and performers from Sypher Arts Studios and entertainment from Sneaky Nietzche, She Wants Revenge, KILLSONIC, DJ Dex and DJ Jeremiah Dead.
The evening started at 8:30 p.m. Elaborately dressed guests entered from the Grand Entrance as DJ Dex spun. The BP Grand Entrance was renamed the Boneyard for the evening and housed bars, food and ample seating. Aside from the rambunctiously playful performance by experimental jazz group KILLSONIC it was a relaxed area where patrons mingled, laughed and reclined.
If you were particularly bold, you could request to be judged by The Bumbys, an anonymous New York performance art duo that upon request offers witty judgments of your appearance. We declined the service, though we hear it was a lot of fun.
LACMA West housed much of the night's festivities, and it's current state of disarray while under construction made it the perfect venue for a fantasy ball. Gutted rooms waiting for their remodel were filled with themed props. At 9:00 She Wants Revenge took the stage on the LACMA West Funeral Parlor Balcony (the rooftop of the LACMA West building). The band and venue were a perfect marriage -- they played all of their fan favorites with the Los Angeles sky as their backdrop. The Sypher Arts stilt walkers wandered about the crowd while the bar poured "Kanon Vodka Afterlife Elixirs" for the crowd.
Inside the LACMA West Funeral Parlor's Terrace Room, performance artist Sheila Vand, composer Johann Carbajal and their cohorts created the fictional underworld they call Sneaky Nietzsche. They claimed this to be their first performance above ground since 1879. A band played while actors wondered the room welcoming you to the party, insisting they were so happy to see you as they leaned within an inch of your face. It was a wonderful cacophony.
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The star of the night, however, was the Tim Burton exhibit. Many of the costumes were from Tim Burton films, others were based on his art. The costume contest even had a "Best Tim Burton Character" category. There were several Jack and Sally couples, one even had a floating Zero with them. An assortment of Beetlejuices ran around, from young men in striped suits to those who translated the disgusting character so meticulously that it was hard to look at them. One woman arrived as the woman in Burton's Blue Girl with Wine painting. The exhibit stayed open until midnight so party goers could experience it in an intimate setting.