On February 9, 2019, The Edwardian Ball was presented by Paradox Media & Vau de Vire for the 10th triumphant return to Los Angeles. Returning to the legendary Fonda Theater on Hollywood Boulevard where it has become a favorite of the Hollywood and Los Angeles Masquerade Ball Events. Nineteen years ago The Edwardian Ball began in the darkened hallows of a San Francisco nightclub and is now a multi-night, multi-city, multimedia extravaganza held annually in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Over the past nineteen years, with the blessing of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, The Edwardian Ball’s have become an internationally recognized festival of the arts, now presenting a uniquely wonderful Edwardian world.
As home to Grammys, Oscars, and a multitude of big names and events it’s not easy to impress Angelinos, so it is both inspiring and astounding that The Edwardian Ball has captured the heart and soul of this Entertainment City. The stage never stopped with Miss Emmma as Master of Ceremonies and courting the sounds of the night was no less than Master Maestro himself, Aaron Delachaux.
The Edwardian Ball is an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, live music, riveting theatre, fashion, literature, ballroom dancing, DJs, circus, and the beloved creations of the late, great author and illustrator Edward Gorey. The theme for the 2019 season is “The Rose Pedal Garden“, featuring a playful, bicycle-powered wonderland blended set in an enchanted English garden, and featuring the story for this year, Edward Gorey’s cranked-up classic, The Epiplectic Bicycle.
The Grand Ballroom of The Fonda presented the Rose Pedal Garden of mechanical and topiary wonders, ballroom dancing, and a main stage with an all night variety shows of music, circus, theatre, fashion, and many surprises. Ascend from there to the VIP Balcony, where VIP ticket holders find an exclusive bar and comfortable seating overlooking the Ballroom stage. All are welcome on the Rooftop Garden which featured immersive installations by The Grand Antique, Tarot readings, a small selection of artisan vendors, and a dance floor with the best electro-swingin’ DJ’s this side of the Old World.
The evening’s stage performances kicked off with the Vau de Vire Society‘s Variety Show with aerialist Stephanie Bailey and Maggie Powers, followed by Marquis & The Rhythm Howlers. Next came Vau de Vire’s “The Trouble with Women” Tour followed mid evening by the Dark Garden Fashion Show, always one of the most anticipated Shows of each and every Edwardian Ball.
Dark Garden Unique Corsetry is a San Francisco staple, known as one of the most experienced Corsetieres and has been making bespoke corsets in San Francisco since 1989. Each year Dark Garden premiers a new line at the annual Edwardian Ball fashion show in theme with The Edwardian Ball itself. Additionally, the Fete de Cupid, is an exciting upcoming event for Dark Garden in support of the their entry to New Orleans. I will definitely be there on April 27, in full celebration mode.
The Vau de Vire Variety Show continued, along with Rosen Coven, Delachaux, and Miss Emmma, leading to the big climax with Rosen Coven and Vau de Vire Society performing Edward Gorey’s “The Epiplectic Bicycle. Atom Smith and His Bass Age Big Band played out the evenings performances along with Swing maestro Delachaux on top of it till the wee hours of the morning.
The Edwardian Ball is `set’ in a romanticized, gilded, and gentile Neo-Victorian and Edwardian-era, a gothic and steampunk tinged distant past intertwines with an elegantly imagined future. The architecture and history of the Fonda Theater create an immersive full sensorial experience for the night’s theme, and the legendary Fonda Theater allows performers and guest alike, to flourish in their fantasy and dream dreams of what could be.
The Fonda Theater was one of Hollywood’s first legitimate theatres located on the famed Hollywood Boulevard. This Spanish Colonial Revival Style venue has experienced a variety of incarnations since its grand opening in 1926, and has featured such mythical performers as Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, James Cagney and Marlene Dietrich. But please, we shall not `name drop’ here!
Throughout the evening are stage performances, as well as music, drink, and goodies on the Rooftop Garden. Some specialties not to be missed also include the Absinthe Bar, Dr Solar’s Medicine Show, the living statues high about the floor with the Goddesses of Dark Garden, and of course everywhere you go, the guest are costumed in the most creative of costumes and ideas. I consider it such a treat to meet so many creative people who have imagined and created their own vision for the night. Some very simple, some very elegant and detailed, all done in the spirit imagination and whimsy. I am truly honored to create photographs of all the visitors that I meet.
The Edwardian Ball has become a family. Every year I meet and talk with new people and over the years so many have become friends that I look forward to see each year. This year I met one couple who had their second date at the Edwardian Ball, eight years ago. Now married,they have not missed one Ball since. Some of my dear friends in LA, now come up to San Francisco, as their kids have now become “Ball Goers”, addicted to the Edwardian Balls.
There is something very special that the Producers of the Edwardian Ball have put together. That something special is when art and creativity become simpatico with friends and family sharing special times and places. These are the Events in life never forgotten, and always remembered with love and affection, for time does make the connections stronger.
Be sure to go to The Edwardian Ball Website for information and details about upcoming events hosted by Paradox Media and Vau de Vire, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and even New Orleans. I urge you to try it just once. Let me know and I’m happy to provide any additional information, or direct you to someone who can help you. After all, it is never too early, or too late, to start that costume for next year.
You can also check out The Edwardian Ball on Facebook.
Please go to ART & PERFORMANCE, for those of you who are artist and may wish to perform at The Edwardian Ball in 2020.
Connect with me, Greg Autry, on Instagram @gregautry.cga,
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*Photography by Greg Autry, IG @gregautry.cga , ©2018GregAutry ALL RIGHTS RESERVED