Fantasy, Cheek, and Top Hats: Edwardian Ball

Fancy frocks, outlandish theatre, and fab looks unfurl at the Fonda.

Many a person sighs and fidgets during the holiday season, principally because so many startchy suits and stiff, constricting get-ups must be donned, for various office parties and yuletide gatherings and the like.

But there is a contingent of people that shares a belief on this matter: However dressy you get during December, you're probably way, way underdressed. That is, if you're not wearing a full hoop skirt, a feathery top hat, a monocle, and satin evening gloves.

These are the revelers who'll take to the annual Edwardian Ball, which unfurls, like so many bolts of shimmery satin and taffeta, at the Fonda on Saturday, Feb. 8. It's a dress-up affair, as the "Ball" part might suggest, but let's add an outlandish asterisk to that. Yes, people arrive in tux and tails, but they're just as apt to be wearing a small birdcage for a hat as not.

As for the evening's entertainment? Think vintage va-voom, whackadoodle -- in the best sense -- costumes, and a presentation of Edward Gorey's oh-so-made-for-adults "The Curious Sofa." Do you love the Gorey performances at The Huntington's Drama After Dark each fall? Here's a new, absolutely-for-the-grown-ups twist.

Music, dazzle, aerial acts, and no-holds-barred drama fill out the remainder of the evening, where parading in one's hoop-skirt'd, bird-cage-bedecked get-up is part and parcel of what is done. Think of the scene as slightly goth, slightly batty, slightly royal, and elegantly eccentric. Or is that eccentrically elegant? You choose.

Tickets run from $45 to $75.

So stow those office-appropriate business suits you wore to the December parties, and find your bustle and platform boots. Things are about to get far dressier up Tinseltown-way.

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