Paradox Media and Vau de Vire present the 13th annual award-winning Edwardian Ball and World’s Faire on Friday and Saturday, January 18th-19th, 2013 at the stunning historic San Francisco venue, The Regency Ballroom. Edwardian Ball founders Rosin Coven and co-hosts Vau de Vire Society bring a featured Edward Gorey story to life on stage with original music, theatrical choreography and narration…this year presenting one of his more mischievous, playful masterpieces, “The Doubtful Guest” – a performance interspersed with humor and darkness. It’s where literary fans are as welcome as Goth clubgoers and where the high-flying trapeze and steam-powered machines create the backdrop for elegantly dressed ballgoers waltzing their way from absinthe to the dance floor.
Step into a uniquely immersive world, where turn-of-the-century meets world-to-be in a fantastic blend of performance and audience, of sights, sounds, and magic. One can expect an irreverently elegant blend of theatre, circus, live music, DJs, ballroom dancing, parlour games, steam machinery, aerial performances, obscure props, period technology, games, fashion shows and a Vendor Bazaar & Piano Saloon. All in attendance are invited to return to a time of well-dressed gentility by creating characters and costumes for the occasion – instilling a madhouse slapdashery of costumery by nearly every single attendee.
Since 1999, The Edwardian Ball has steadily grown from a Bay Area underground club phenomenon into a full-fledged festival of arts and culture, focusing on the esteemed works of the late, great author/illustrator Edward Gorey…bringing his tales to life on stage. Now with the blessing of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, the truly prodigious and original artist, Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000), will be honored for his body of over 100 works. His legacy includes The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Iron Tonic and The Wuggly Ump; prize-winning set and costume designs for innumerable theater productions from Cape Cod to Broadway and a remarkable number of illustrations in publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times. He also produced illustrations for books by a wide array of authors from Charles Dickens to Edward Lear, Samuel Beckett, John Updike, Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells, Florence Heide and many others. His well-known animated credits for the PBS Mystery! series have introduced his work to millions of television viewers. Gorey’s masterful pen and ink illustrations and his ironic, offbeat humor have brought him critical acclaim and an avid following throughout the world.
Friday night is The Edwardian World’s Faire – a little more rambunctious than the Saturday night Ball, The Faire presents an authentic tea parlor and an interactive night of Barbary-themed Midway Games, bicycle-powered carnival rides by Cyclecide, an exposition of steam-powered machinery by Kinetic Steam Works, circus sideshows, burlesque, and longtime Edwardian disc jockey Delachaux, Vau de Vire Society, and DJ Fact.50. For 2013, a complete circus extravaganza by The Wanderlust Circus Orchestra from Portland, Oregon…weaving miraculous feats of skill through the extravagant orchestral warp of our prodigious band. Tap-dancing sax king Shoehorn is featured alongside frenetic frontman William Batty, sweating and sighing through standards and originals in the Spike Jones fashion while the finest circus and vaudeville acts in the Pacific Wheel Circuit show off their explosive best. Also in the mix: members of Shanghai Woolies, 3 Leg Torso, AnnaPaul and the Bearded Lady, and the Juan Prophet Organization.
Saturday night is The Edwardian Ball – Friday’s rides and games are cleared away, making way for Ballroom Dancing followed by performances by Dark Garden Corsetry, “Belle of the Ball” Jill Tracy, DJs Miz Margo and Delachaux. Capture a moment of history in the antique portrait studio, sip an absinthe cocktail, and dance the night away. Later in the night, Rosin Coven and Vau de Vire Society will perform the ‘not-to-miss’ theatrical interpretation of Edward Gorey’s story, “The Doubtful Guest.”
Both nights attendees can visit the widely acclaimed “Museum of Wonders – an Edwardian Odditorium” located in the opulent Regency Lodge. Be transported in a nostalgic turn-of-the-century elevator with costumed operator and enter an entire floor dedicated to natural wonders, unusual and peculiar artifacts, a living human statue garden, fortune tellers and sideshows, along with haunted mysteries and curiosities. These are all to be discovered through self-guided tours from 8-11pm, while being serenaded by a haunting soundtrack from an authentic 1900’s pipe organ.
At the extensive Vendor Bazaar & Piano Saloon featuring live music of The John Brothers Piano Company located on the lower level each night ($5 on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.) attendees can browse and/or purchase authentic fashion, costumes, accessories, jewelry and plenty of relevant, rare oddities. The Vendor Bazaar will also feature fashion shows, strolling performers and a hosted Edwardian Gaming Parlour.
Paradox Media –
For over 16 years Paradox Media, owned and operated by Justin Katz, has been producing an eclectic variety of art and music events in the San Francisco Bay Area. These have included festivals such as ArtCar Fest, How Berkeley Can You Be!?, Oakland World Music & Jazz Festival, ArtFest’s Spectra Ball, Mission Bazaar, and Burning Man’s annual SF Decompression; independent theater with Everyday Theatre’s “The Bright River” and nonprofit community events with Epic Arts. Paradox Media is the exclusive presenter of Rosin Coven, Founders of The Edwardian Ball in 1999. Katz is the bassist for Rosin Coven and a founding member of this unique ensemble. Katz also works for Goldenvoice / AEG Live, producing hundreds of concerts and special events in the San Francisco region at the Warfield Theatre, The Regency Ballroom, festivals, and arena concerts.
Vau de Vire –
Founded in 1997 by husband and wife team Shannon and Mike Gaines, the San Francisco-based entertainment company Vau de Vire Society has been titillating crowds around the world with its unique brand of interactive and thematic art, dance and circus events. This avant-cabaret community consists of classically-trained dancers, some of the nation’s most acclaimed acrobats, aerial artists, sideshow acts, fire-performers, thespians and beautiful circus freaks. The group has been cross-pollinating genres by collaborating with an eclectic variety of world-renowned musicians and DJs in their creation of original stage shows. Notable recent collaborators include Cirque du Soleil (Corteo), San Francisco Symphony, Bassnectar, The Dresden Dolls, Calvin Harris and The Madd Vibe Orchestra…with live support performances for James Brown, Primus, 50 Cent, Wyclef Jean, Velvet Revolver, The Cure and many other highly respected international artists. In addition to producing The Edwardian Ball since 2005, Vau de Vire is most widely recognized for their numerous music and arts festival commissions, having curated live-music stages and multi-day variety entertainment amidst their custom built environments. Past and ongoing festivals include: Outside Lands Festival, Bumbershoot Festival, Download Festival, Symbiosis Gathering, Lightning in a Bottle, Exprescion on Alcatraz, Burning Man and Super Village at Super Bowl ’08. Vau de Vire’s latest creation is the Inner Mission, a 600 seat music, arts and experimental theater located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission district.
The Regency Ballroom –
The historic Regency Center was built in 1909, and is considered the finest example of Scottish Rite architecture in the country, featuring neoclassic and Beaux-Arts styles. The stunning Regency Ballroom is a treasure with 35-foot ceilings, a wraparound balcony, 22 turn-of-the-century teardrop chandeliers, blonde hardwood floors, and ornate décor. The newly renovated stage provides top-notch, state-of-the-art sound, lighting and video production for concerts and performances. The Regency hosts hundreds of productions annually, including private events, weddings, club nights and the Goldenvoice concert series on its three fabulous levels, including the opulent Regency Lodge upstairs and the wonderfully versatile Sutter Room below.