The Edwardian Ball celebrated the 10th anniversary of its performances in Los Angeles over the weekend with a return to its old haunt, the Fonda Theatre. On Saturday, Feb. 9, founding organizers Vau de Vire Society and Rosin Coven once again brought their epic, immersive showcase of cosplay, theatrics, live music, fashion and absinthe down from their home base in San Francisco, where they host an even bigger show in January spanning two days.
Also a musical act, Rosin Coven performed a set of their trademark “Pagan Lounge Music” as well as their original scores for the Vau de Vire Society’s presentation of their original stage adaptations of Edward Gorey’s stories. This year, the chosen story was "The Epiplectic Bicycle." Among the various performing acts featured throughout the evening were a number of local musical acts, including Marquis and the Rhythm Howlers, Atom Smith & His Bass Age Big Band, Grand Artique, Dr. Solar, Vaude and the Villainz, Danniellow and DJ Baz.
In a recent interview, SoCal native Mike Gaines, who runs Vau de Vire Society, pointed out that the decision to bring the Edwardian Ball back to the Fonda — it had relocated to the Globe Theatre for a couple of years — was principally because of the appealing layout of the Hollywood venue. Specifically, Gaines says, “We really like the upstairs outdoor [roof area] that people can migrate to.”
It was, indeed, refreshing to have that balcony back. The cool evening air was very inviting for those whose garb made things a bit warm in the packed lobby and performance areas. The usual music, dancing and drinking were complemented by several variety acts, including a sharpshooter, acrobats and farcical dramatic performances. One of the latter numbers took an irreverent and brilliant look at the history of attitudes toward women’s roles in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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Despite some wonderfully designed decorative art/set pieces displayed throughout the venue — along with oddity displays and appropriately themed vendors — the show seemed scaled back a bit from its past incarnations, but the dedicated crowd seemed as pleased as ever to have the opportunity to dress in their hybrid steampunk/Edwardian/Victorian garb and drink in the atmosphere.
See our full slideshow here.