The Ninth Annual Edwardian Ball
January 24, 2009
The Regency Center
Review and Photos by Sam Prestianni
Better Than: Being run through with an awl or trampled flat in a brawl.
The annual Edwardian Ball once again staged a fitting, San Francisco-style homage to the cartoon-Gothic writer and illustrator Edward Gorey with a riveting multimedia extravaganza of music, dance, video, art installations, and aerial acrobatics. Hosted by the postmodern cabaret combo Rosin Coven --a virtuosic orchestra of string slingers, horn players, percussionists, and singers-- the quasi-Victorian dance party brought out hundreds of the city's finest freaks and geeks, whose passion for Gorey's urbane sense of the macabre matched their own child-like fancy for dress-up and play. As if competing with the acts under the spotlight, including the Bay Area's world-class theatrical dance troupe Vau de Vire Society and L.A.'s high flyers Cirque Berzerk, many of the attendees showed off ingenious homespun costumes, inspired by the verses of "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," the dearly departed guest of honor's A-B-C book of whimsical ways to die. What follows is a tribute to both Gorey and the dynamic cultural institution his twisted vision made possible.
A is for action they had at the ball.
B is for bosoms that came one and all.
C is for corsets in which they were bound.
D is for danger that skulked with no sound.
E is for envy: "I made my own dress!"
F is for fearful of lame carpet vest.
G is for gawkers who geek in real life.
H is for hunger that growled with a knife.
I is for Ice Girl frosted in crystal.
J is for jury with lye or small pistol.
K is for kink done up on the dance floor.
L is for leery: "Cut in on my whore?!?"
M is for mice strung tight round her neck.
N is for never we would soon forget.
O is for ostrich stuck on feathered hats.
P is for piercings competing with tats.
Q is for quirk scene embellished with lace.
R is for rat band who thrilled all with grace.
S is for secrets revealed in the dark.
T is for trannies from Golden Gate Park.
U is for umbrellas saucy and fine.
V is for Victorian: "Won't you be mine?"
Y is the question E. Gorey would ask.
Z is for "Zounds! Enough! To my flask..."